Police in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, have arrested a man suspected of planting a bomb outside the Chabad House in Santa Monica, California, last week. The man was described as a 60-year-old homeless person, named Ron Hirsch (also known as Israel Fisher). Hirsch had a ticket for a bus to New York in his pocket when he was arrested, police said.
No one was injured in the April 7 blast, and the Chabad House sustained minor damage.
Hirsch had bought a Greyhound bus ticket to New York but apparently changed his itinerary, according to the FBI. He got off the bus in Denver and was located in Ohio, where he had entered a synagogue in Cleveland Heights before being identified by local reisdents, who alerted police.
Hirsch was known in Los Angeles, said Rabbi Isaac Levitansky, director of the Santa Monica Chabad House. He said that Chabad and other organizations had provided Hirsch with money and other aid, and that the last time he saw Hirsch was several months ago.
Rabbi Levitansky said that he could not speculate on Hirsch's motives. “Let’s see what the investigation brings out, and we’ll take it from there,” he was quoted as sayingi. “We’re approaching the holiday of Passover, the time of the Jewish people’s redemption. Let’s hope [for the day when] we won’t have to worry about any further troubles.”