Suspect Found in Anti-Semitic 'Pig's Heads' Case

Man allegedly responsible for anti-Semitic gesture is a member of right-wing and Neo-Fascist groups, local media report.

Tova Dvorin ,

Police brutality? (illustrative)
Police brutality? (illustrative)

Italian police apprehended a 29 year-old man over the weekend after evidence surfaced that he was involved in sending pigs' heads to Jewish institutions in January. The man, a Rome native, is a member of the Forza Nuova or Neo-Fascist movement and extreme Right movements in Italy, according to police. 

Lazio President Claudio Lotito condemned the attack in the wake of the police find, according to local media. "We are talking about cowardly and despicable acts that intend to harm the Jewish community," Lotito stated. 

Anti-Semitism continues to flourish in Rome despite the arrest, local media revealed. Last weekend, anti-Semitic graffiti and hate slogans were found scrawled on a prominent municipal building in the capital city. 

Rome Rabbi and Vice President of the Conference of European Rabbis, Rabbi Shmuel Di Siena said Saturday night, "the Rome Police informed us Friday night that the man arrested [for the pigs'  head crimes] that he was a member of one the right-wing factions." 

"The Rome police took the matter very seriously and have invested great effort to catch the perpetrator. However, it remains unclear whether he worked alone or had accomplices," the Rabbi continued. "We trust the security services here in Rome who do their work faithfully and we are confident that all of our community's institutions are secure." 

Last month, boxes containing pigs' heads were sent to the Israeli embassy in Rome and the city's synagogue.  The package mailed to the embassy in the wealthy Parioli area of the Italian capital was intercepted by police after other similar parcels were sent to the synagogue and the Jewish Museum of Rome.  

Bomb disposal experts who rushed to the scene discovered the grisly head, which they believe came from a slaughterhouse.  A letter inside contained derogatory comments about the Holocaust and references to Theodor Herzl, considered to be the founder of modern political Zionism.

City officials were quick to condemn the attack, but no suspect had been found until now.