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Monday, May 27, 2024

Jewish leader stabbed to death in US city

Samantha Woll was killed amid a recent rise in antisemitic crime in several countries

The president of the board of a Detroit synagogue, Samantha Woll, was found dead with multiple stab wounds outside her house on Saturday morning, local authorities have reported. While the investigation into her death is still at an early stage, it comes amid a recent rise in antisemitic incidents internationally following the latest escalation between Israel and Hamas in the Middle East.

According to the Detroit Police Department, officers responded to a call about a person lying on the ground unresponsive at about 6:30 AM. On arrival, emergency services immediately pronounced Woll dead.

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While at the scene, police officers observed a trail of blood leading officers to the victim’s residence, which is where the crime is believed to have occurred,” police corporal Dan Donakowski said.

The FBI confirmed to CNN and the Associated Press that it is assisting Detroit police in the investigation.

In a statement posted on X (formerly Twitter), Detroit Police Chief James E. White called on the public to “remain patient while investigators carefully examine every aspect of the available evidence.

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The official warned against jumping to conclusions at this early stage.

Apart from serving as the president of the board of the Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue, Woll was also active in local politics. She had worked as an aide to Democratic Representative Elissa Slotkin and as a campaign staffer for another Democrat, Attorney General Dana Nessel.

Last Sunday, FBI Director Christopher Wray warned fellow law enforcement officers at the International Association of Chiefs of Police Annual Conference in San Diego that the US was facing a heightened threat from “lone wolf” terrorists inspired by Hamas’ assault on Israel earlier this month.

In neighboring Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Tuesday that the country had witnessed a “very frightening rise in anti-Semitism” since the latest escalation in the Middle East.

Across the Atlantic, London Metropolitan Police reported on Friday that it had detected similar trends in the British capital, with the number of antisemitic hate crimes rising by 1,353% since the start of the month compared to the same period of last year.