Jewish Extremist Murdered in Penitentiary

In the Prisons

A key member of the racist Jewish Defense League (JDL), serving time for a 2001 plot to bomb a California mosque and the office of a Lebanese-American congressman, was killed in a Nov. 4 assault at a federal prison in Phoenix.

The killing, reportedly carried out by an inmate who struck Earl Krugel on the head with a cement block, came three years to the day after JDL leader Irv Rubin, imprisoned in the same plot, allegedly committed suicide while in federal detention. His family and the JDL have said they believe Rubin was murdered.

The JDL issued a press release immediately after Krugel's death suggesting an Islamic or even government conspiracy to murder Jewish activists.

Both Rubin and Krugel were implicated in a plot to bomb the King Fahd Mosque in Culver City, Calif., and an office of Republican Congressman Darrell Issa. Rubin died in 2002, before going to trial. Krugel pleaded guilty the next year to conspiracy and explosives charges, and was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Founded in 1968, the JDL has a long track record of political violence and anti-Arab hatred. Given Krugel's role in the JDL, it would be extraordinary if prison officials failed to segregate him from the rest of the prison population. Krugel, 62, was killed just three days after he arrived at the Phoenix penitentiary.