Pakistani immigrant tries to mow down students outside Brooklyn Jewish school: ‘I’m gonna kill all the Jews’ - Hindustan Times
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Pakistani immigrant tries to mow down students outside Brooklyn Jewish school: ‘I’m gonna kill all the Jews’

BySumanti Sen
May 30, 2024 10:11 AM IST

Asghar Ali, a 58-year-old Pakistani immigrant livery cab driver, was heard yelling “I’m gonna kill all the Jews” during the horrifying antisemitic attack.

A man tried to run over a rabbi and Orthodox students with his car outside a Brooklyn Jewish school Wednesday, May 29. He was heard yelling “I’m gonna kill all the Jews” during the horrifying antisemitic attack.

Pakistani immigrant tries to mow down students outside Brooklyn Jewish school (NYPD/Facebook - representational image)
Pakistani immigrant tries to mow down students outside Brooklyn Jewish school (NYPD/Facebook - representational image)

The man has been identified as Asghar Ali, a 58-year-old Pakistani immigrant livery cab driver. He has a history of mental illness, police said, according to New York Post. The incident is being probed by the NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force.

Ali is now facing various charges, including attempted murder, attempted assault and hate crimes charges. However, it is believed the attack was not terror-related. As of now, cops have not found evidence that he was tied to any online radical group.

The incident

At the time of the incident, the Brooklyn man was driving a 2011 white Crown Victoria and making a turn onto East 55th Street. He was near the Mesivta Nachlas Yakov School when in a shocking turn of event he began driving toward students dressed in Orthodox garb.

Ali targeted two more students and a rabbi, after driving around the block and then back toward the school. “I’m gonna kill all the Jews,” he screamed, according to cops.

However, the victims ran to safety and inside the building before they could be struck. The victims included a trio of 18-year-olds, a 41-year-old man and a 44-year-old man. None of them were reportedly hurt.

Rabbi Twersky, who works at the Yeshiva, said the chaos ensued after the man tried to hit one of the boys, who was standing at the corner of Glenwood Road and East 55 Street. The driver then attacked a group of 30 to 40 students after driving up the wrong side of East 56 Street.

“I came in, and the boys were like ‘Did you see the cameras? Did you see the cameras?’” Twersky said. “I’m more scared for them. I’m much more scared than they are — their adrenaline is up.”

Ali initially fled, but was soon found by members of the Shomrim Safety Patrol. NYPD cops were called by the Shomrim. “We were able to retrieve the video footage. We got the guy’s plate number,” Bob Moskowitz, executive coordinator of the patrol, said. “Obviously it was a very distinct car, a Crown Vic, an old model. You don’t see too many of those around.”

“We were told by the people at the school that he hangs around, he drives around the neighborhood,” he said. “And one of our members, when he was doing his daily patrol canvassing around the neighborhood, saw the car.”

Ali has been taken into custody. He was eventually transferred to Coney Island Hospital.

Who is Asghar Ali?

Ali is originally from Pakistan but was living in the US for over two decades. Law enforcement sources have described him as an “emotionally disturbed” person.

He was arrested in 1998 for false personation after he flashed false ID after being stopped. He does not own a valid TLC licence but says his occupation is driving a cab. He has four previous arrests, one of them for criminal impersonation.

“We were very pleased to be able to apprehend this individual,” Moskowitz said. “This is not somebody that we want driving around the streets, especially with this anti-Semitic, anti-Jewish climate that’s out there. So we were glad to be able to put this to rest. The community was kind of uptight about this. Now everybody can be a little more relaxed.”

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