Synagogue Firebomb Mastermind Charged with Army ROTC Arson

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The alleged 19-year-old mastermind of two Bergen County synagogue firebombings has been charged in Middlesex County for a similar incident, according to a report on

Former Rutgers student Aakash Dalal has now been charged with starting a December 10, 2011 fire in the Army Reserves Officers Training Corps (ROTC) building on College Avenue on the Rutgers campus. Dalal allegedly put flaming newspapers into the building's mail slot, causing minimal damage to the building with no injuries.

The ROTC building is located at the corner of College Avenue and Senior Street. reported back in March that Dalal was briefly detained by Rutgers University police two weeks before his arrest in the Bergen County firebombings.  Dalal was using chalk to write messages in support of Ron Paul's presidential campaign on Brower Commons, just 300 feet from the ROTC building.

Dalal is already charged with arson for directing another man, 19-year-old Anthony Graziano, to set fire to wooden synagoges in Bergen County.  The attacks took place in January at synogogues in Rutherford and Paramus,  New Jersey.

Another former Rutgers student, 21-year-old Michael Leviss, was also charged for allegedly participating in the December ROTC arson.  He was released on $35,000 bail on Friday.


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Charlie is the founder and editor of New Brunswick Today, and the winner of the Awbrey Award for Community-Oriented Local Journalism. He is a proud Rutgers University journalism graduate and a community organizer, and was an independent candidate for Mayor of New Brunswick in 2018.