LOS ANGELES – Two Jewish Defense League members accused of terrorist activity thanked their supporters Sunday and asserted they would be found innocent of the charges against them.
JDL chairman Irv Rubin and JDL member Earl Krugel issued a statement Sunday calling their arrest “politically motivated.” The statement was played on a JDL office telephone message, recorded by an unidentified male voice.
The pair supported their statements by referencing a New York Times Internet article Sunday that said, in part, “federal officials in Los Angeles said the case (against Rubin and Krugel) should put to rest complaints that the authorities have been singling out Arabs and Muslims in their terrorism investigations since the attacks of Sept. 11.”
The recorded statement also called the case “a political prosecution.”
Rubin and Krugel were charged Dec. 12 in federal court for allegedly plotting to bomb a Culver City mosque and the office of Lebanese-American Rep. Darrell Issa, R-San Clemente.
Authorities say they were tipped to the alleged plan in October by an unidentified informant who was a longtime JDL member.
Rubin and Krugel are expected to plead innocent to the charges at a Dec. 31 arraignment and could end up facing more than 30 years in prison if convicted.
On Sunday, Rubin and Krugel also thanked supporters who have donated money to their defense, adding: ”(To) ... people that believe they (Rubin and Krugel) were set up. The people that believe this is a political prosecution.”
Rubin and Krugel also declared that anti-Semitic sentiment was widespread, citing a piece in the Opinion Section of Sunday’s Los Angeles Times written by Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles.
Cooper wrote, in part, “Jews, far from having their religion celebrated, have been confronted with new and virulent strains of anti-Semitism.”
The JDL recording stated that “anti-Semitism is alive and well.”