Woman Crashes into Building She Believed Was Israeli School

Written by Jeppe W

Nov.07 - 2023 10:47 AM CET

Photo: Shutterstock.com
Photo: Shutterstock.com

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An Indianapolis woman, Ruba Almaghtheh, 34, was arrested for criminal recklessness after driving her car into a building she mistakenly believed was a Jewish school linked to Israel.

The incident occurred on Friday, according to HuffPost qouting the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD). Almaghtheh reportedly confessed to targeting the building, marked "Israelite School of UPK," due to her reaction to news events, believing it was an "Israel school."

However, extremism experts clarified that the building is associated with the Israelite School of Universal and Practical Knowledge, a group labeled as a radical and antisemitic sect of Hebrew Israelites by multiple watchdogs.

The Southern Poverty Law Center categorizes this sect as a hate group, citing their antisemitic and anti-LGBTQ+ stances.

Fortunately, no injuries were reported in the incident, despite the building being occupied at the time of the attack. Almaghtheh was detained with preliminary charges, and the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office is set to decide on further charges. The IMPD has also informed the FBI about the case.

This event comes amidst a rise in both anti-Jewish and anti-Muslim hate incidents in the U.S., following a surprise attack by Hamas on Israel on October 7.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) reported a significant increase in bias incidents since this conflict, describing it as one of the "largest waves of complaints" since the Trump administration's "Muslim Ban."

The Jewish Federation of Indianapolis responded to the incident, emphasizing the importance of maintaining security protocols and vigilance against suspicious activities, even though a Jewish facility wasn't the actual target. This statement highlights the unintended impact of Almaghtheh's misidentification.

As of now, it is unclear if Almaghtheh has obtained legal representation, but inmate records indicate her first court appearance is scheduled for Wednesday.

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