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Suspect arrested after Chicago synagogues vandalized

Mayor Lori Lightfoot said recent vandalism, which also targeted a school and some businesses, expressed "hate and antisemitism."

A suspect has been arrested after antisemitic vandalism appeared at Chicago synagogues, businesses and a school, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Monday.

Police reported vandalism at a pair of synagogues Sunday, one in the city's West Rogers Park community and one in suburban Lincolnwood, according to NBC Chicago.

Lightfoot said the vandalism included "symbols of hate and antisemitism."

"These crimes are undoubtedly a part of the troubling rise in antisemitism that we've seen both in our city and across the country," Lightfoot said.

She said detectives were continuing to investigate.

Synagogues across the country have been on heightened alert since an hourslong standoff with hostages Jan. 15 at a synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, about 30 miles northwest of Dallas.

A man later identified as a British citizen was demanding the release of Aafia Siddiqui, a citizen of Pakistan convicted of attempting to kill U.S. officers in Afghanistan. The suspect was killed by at least one FBI shooter as three hostages, including a rabbi, escaped unharmed. Another hostage had been released earlier.

"As Chicagoans and as Americans, it is our responsibility to call hate speech and acts out and protect our Jewish brothers and sisters who endure this hatred year after year," Lightfoot said.

The Jewish Council on Urban Affairs in Chicago condemned the vandalism and said solidarity against antisemitism is the best way forward.

"As Jews, whether we’re walking down the streets of our neighborhoods or through the doors of our synagogues, freedom and safety for any of us depends on the freedom and safety of all of us," the group said in an emailed statement.