Arrest in Racine synagogue vandalism | Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle

Arrest in Racine synagogue vandalism


A Wisconsin man with Jordanian roots was arrested for vandalizing a synagogue as part of his involvement in a white supremacist and neo-Nazi hate group known as The Base.

Yousef Barasneh, 22, was arrested Jan. 17 as part of a nationwide investigation into the extremist group. Six other men were arrested that week for their involvement in the group.

Barasneh is accused of spray-painting a swastika and other Nazi imagery, as well as the word “Jude,” German for Jew, on the building of the Beth Israel Sinai Congregation in Racine in September.

He is charged in a federal criminal complaint with planning other acts of vandalism against minority residents with the hate group, which has been active in Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported.

Barasneh’s father immigrated to the United States from Amman, Jordan. His mother was born in Wisconsin, and the family lives in Oak Creek, located about 10 miles from Milwaukee, Ynet reported, citing the father’s Facebook page.

Barasneh was charged with one count of conspiring to violate citizens’ rights to use property free from threats and intimidation. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, according to the newspaper.

In November, an 18-year-old New Jersey man was arrested for ordering the vandalism of the Racine synagogue, as well as a synagogue in Michigan, which was attacked a day before Beth Israel Sinai. He allegedly said he planned the attacks as part of nationwide campaign he called Operation Kristallnacht, a reference to the 1938 pogrom against Jewish homes, synagogues and Jewish-owned businesses in Germany and Austria.

– Marcy Oster