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Jewish Defense League

The Jewish Defense League (JDL) is a tiny Jewish "self-defense" movement, considered a terrorist organization by the CIA and FBI. It was founded in 1968 by Meir Kahane, and began as a vigilante group with the goal of protecting Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods in New York City from attack by various gangs, and to protest local instances of violence. The JDL soon broadened its concerns to the global situation of the Jewish community, and sought to defend Jews from perceived threats through the use of violence.

The JDL is widely viewed as extremist and no mainstream Jewish organization has ties to it. There are, however, several right-wing movements that have links to and support the JDL, not least within the settler community in the occupied Palestinian territories in the West Bank (eg. the Kach movement). Recent newspaper reports indicate that membership in the JDL appears to be limited to a few hundred people, with a much smaller number actually being active in the organization.

JDL terrorist activity

JDL members have been accused by the FBI and CIA of 37-50 terrorist attacks, including:

In these cases an anonymous caller would claim JDL responsibility for the bombing, which was then denied by the JDL leadership, although often they would say that, although they had nothing to do with it themselves, they were happy the attacks had occurred: for example JDL chairman Irv Rubin said Odeh "got what he deserved", although they insist the attack was done by Arabs, not by them. (Sources: [1] (http://www.securitymanagement.com/library/000248), [2] (http://www.jdl.org/information/jdl_faq))

The primary motivation for attacks on Soviet targets such as Sol Hurok was the refusal of the Soviet government to permit Jewish emigration from the Soviet Union to Israel.

JDL has also defended the massacre of 29 Arabs in Hebron by Dr. Baruch Goldstein, a former JDL activist, in February 1994, saying "we feel that Goldstein took a preventative measure against yet another Arab attack on Jews. We understand his motivation, his grief and his actions. And we are not ashamed to say that Goldstein was a charter member of the Jewish Defense League." ([3] (http://www.jdl.org/information/jdl_faq)).

After 1987, when several JDL members were convicted on terrorism charges, there was a lull in reports of JDL terrorism. On December 12, 2001, Irv Rubin, the Chairman of JDL, and Earl Krugel, a member of the organization, were officially charged with conspiracy to commit an act of terrorism. The two were allegedly caught in the act of planning a bombing of Arab-American Congressman Darrell Issa[?]'s office and the King Fahd Mosque in Los Angeles. The two were arrested as part of a sting operation when they received a shipment of explosives at Krugel's home in L.A.

Shortly after his arrest Irv Rubin committed suicide in jail while awaiting trial for the mosque bomb plot. On February 4, 2003, Krugel pled guilty to conspiracy charges stemming from the plan. The arrests of Rubin and Krugel effectively finished the JDL as a viable organization.

See also

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