Cops managed to solve two crimes at the same time last week, when a man arrested for turning his Brooklyn Heights apartment into a bomb-making factory later confessed to scrawling anti-Semitic graffiti throughout the neighborhood in September.
“We’re very relieved and thankful to Almighty God for bringing closure to this horrific episode,” said Rabbi Aaron Raskin of Congregation B’nai Avraham, one of two synagogues on Remsen Street that were defaced with swastikas last fall.
If a higher power was behind the arrest of Ivaylo Ivanov, it started on Sunday morning, when cops rushed to his Remsen Street apartment after getting calls about gunfire.
The blocks between Henry and Hicks streets, and Montague and Joralemon streets, were shut down for hours as police investigated. Ivanov claimed someone had shot him, but later revealed to police that it was a self-inflicted wound.
That prompted police to search the apartment, which turned up a trove of homemade explosives and illegal firearms, police said.
Police say the Bulgarian immigrant later admitted to the September hate crimes, which included scrawling swastikas on two Remsen Street synagogues, apartment buildings and cars on nearby blocks.
The confession did not come as a surprise to the men in blue, who considered Ivanov the prime suspect, the Daily News reported.
In an ironic twist, Ivanov said that he’s actually Jewish.
“If so, he needs to talk to a rabbi to get his soul in order,” Raskin told The Brooklyn Paper.
Spiritual problems aside, Raskin said he worried about public safety, too.
“If he’s dangerous, he needs to be taken off the streets.”
Ivanov could be behind bars for a long time. He faces a long list of weapons charges that carry maximum sentences of 25 years and hate crime counts that could tack on another four years, according to a spokesman for District Attorney Charles Hynes.
Ivanov’s attorney did not return calls.
©2008 Community News Group
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