NYC mayor vows action on anti-Semitism ‘crisis’

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced a series of measures to tackle a “crisis” of anti-Semitic attacks, following a mass stabbing. Mr de Blasio said security would be stepped up in Jewish areas and schools would teach students to tackle hate.

At least five people were injured in the knife attack at a rabbi’s house in New York state on Saturday. President Donald Trump called for unity to fight “the evil scourge” of anti-Semitism following the attack.

Witnesses said the attacker burst into the house in Monsey, north of New York City, which was hosting a Hanukkah celebration, pulled out a large knife and began stabbing people.

The suspected knifeman, named by police as Grafton Thomas, 37, of Greenwood Lake, New York, has been charged with attempted murder. He pleaded not guilty, and is being held in jail with his bail set at $5m (£3.8m).

On Sunday night, his lawyer Michael Sussman issued a statement on behalf of his family which said Mr Thomas “has a long history of mental illness and hospitalisations”.

“He has no history of like violent acts and no convictions for any crime,” it said. “He has no known history of anti-Semitism and was raised in a home which embraced and respected all religions and races. He is not a member of any hate groups.”

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