NEW YORK (May. 10)
FBI agents arrested three alleged members of the Jewish Defense League here Friday on charges linking them to six bomb and grenade incidents in the metropolitan area between 1984-86, four of them against Soviet diplomatic premises or visiting Soviet performers.
Victor Vancier, alias Chaim Ben Yosef, 30, of Queens, Jay Cohen, 23, also of Queens, and Sharon Katz, 44, of Manhattan, were arraigned before federal Magistrate John Caden in Brooklyn on a complaint filed by the office of U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District, Andrew Maloney.
The three were allegedly involved in the 1984 firebombing of a car in the compound of the Soviet Mission in Riverdale; the 1985 and 1986 pipe bombings of cars in Howard Beach owned by a member of a rival JDL faction; the 1986 fire-bombing at Avery Fisher Hall before a performance of the Soviet State Symphony; and the detonation of a tear gas grenade at the Metropolitan Opera last September during a performance by the Moiseyev Dance Company. Twenty persons were injured in the latter attack.
Vancier, who often describes himself as JDL “leader,” was arrested as he was mailing a letter to JDL member Murray Young, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory O’Connell. Young, 59, was arrested last month on charges of illegal possession of a handgun and silencer.
O’Connell said Vancier’s letter warned Young “to keep his mouth shut because the government doesn’t have enough evidence and if everyone keeps their mouth shut, everything will be all right.”
Vancier and Cohen were held in jail pending a hearing Monday. Katz was released on $100,000 bail.