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Assassination of Meir Kahane
Location Marriott hotel in Manhattan, New York
Date 5 November 1990
Shortly after 21:00 pm
Target Meir Kahane
Weapons .357 caliber pistol.[1]
Deaths Meir Kahane
Perpetrator Believed to be El Sayyid Nosair

The monument built in memory of Meir Kahane which is located in the Kahane Park in the Israeli settlement of Kiryat Arba in the West Bank

The assassination of the Israeli Rabbi and politician Meir Kahane occurred on 5 November 1990, shortly after 9:00 pm at the New York Marriott East Side hotel in Manhattan, New York.

The assassination

In the evening of 5 November 1990, the Israeli Rabbi and politician Meir Kahane held a speech in the second-floor lecture hall of the Marriott hotel in Manhattan, located at 525 Lexington Avenue, to an audience of mostly Orthodox Jews. After his speech a crowd of well-wishers gathered around Kahane as he answered questions. Soon afterwards, shortly after 9:00 pm, an armed assassin disguised as an Orthodox Jew approached Kahane and shot him from close range with a .357 caliber pistol.[1] Kahane was hit in the neck by the gunfire and died of his wounds shortly thereafter.[2][3][4][5]

After the assassination, the assassin fled from the hotel and reached Lexington Avenue where, in front of a local post office, he attempted to take over a taxi at gunpoint. Carlos Acosta, an on duty police officer of the post office, drew his pistol and ordered the assassin to freeze.[1] Instead, the assassin turned toward the officer, shot and hit him in the chest. The officer shot the suspect, hitting him in the chin. Afterwards he arrested the suspect who turned out to be the Egyptian-born American citizen El Sayyid Nosair who had been living in Jersey City.[1]

Subsequent events

The prosecution of El Sayyid Nosair

El Sayyid Nosair was charged with the murder of Meir Kahane. During the legal proceedings, Nosair denied all charges against him. Although there were witnesses who identified Nosair as the assassin, the prosecution failed to convict Nosair of Kahane's assassination, in part due to opposition of Kahane's family members to perform an autopsy after the assassination and pull out the bullets.

Eventually, in a split verdict the members of the jury in Nosair's trial decided that it is impossible to prove unequivocally who assassinated Kahane. As a result Nosair was acquitted of murder. However, Nosair was convicted of assault, possession of an illegal firearm and of shooting a U.S. Postal Inspection Service agent. Nosair was sentenced to twenty-two years of imprisonment, the maximally allowed term.[6]

Conspiracy to free Nosair from prison

Nosair was to serve his sentence in the Attica State Prison in New York. In 1993 Sheik Omar Abdul-Rahman was arrested in New York. As a result of his investigation it was revealed that a terrorist cell led by Abdul-Rahman conducted detailed surveillance of the Attica State prison facilities, and that they had discussed plans to use a truck bomb attack combined with an armed assault to rescue Nosair from prison.[7]

Nosair's conviction of activity in a terrorist cell

During the investigation of Abdul-Rahman it turned out that Nosair belonged to the terrorist cell led by Abdul-Rahman who, during 1993 tried to blow up the World Trade Center using an explosive laden vehicle. This time Nosair was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole plus 15 years in prison. It was ruled that Kahane's death was part of the total "seditious conspiracy," so Nosair was also convicted of killing Kahane.[8] He is serving his sentence in the United States Penitentiary (USP) in Marion, Illinois.[9]

Nosair's confession of Kahane's assassination

Several years after the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, Nosair made a confession to federal agents of assassinating Meir Kahane.[10]

Possible accomplices in the Kahane assassination

In August 2010, the Israeli newspaper the Jerusalem Post, which, in turn, was quoting from the mid August issue of Playboy, claimed that Nosair had two partners and that his original target was Israeli military figure and future Prime Minister of Israel Ariel Sharon.

"He added that on the night he shot Kahane dead, he was accompanied by two co-conspirators to the Marriot Hotel in Manhattan where Kahane was speaking – one of whom was also carrying a gun.

"The men, Bilal al-Kaisi of Jordan and Mohammed A. Salameh, a Palestinian illegal alien later involved in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, have never been charged for their part in the slaying."[11]

See also

  • El Sayyid Nosair

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Kahane Is Killed After Giving Talk In New York Hotel - New York Times
  2. Juergensmeyer, Mark (2003). Terror in the Mind of God. University of California Press. pp. 59. 
  3. Katz, Samuel M. "Relentless Pursuit: The DSS and the manhunt for the al-Qaeda terrorists", 2002
  4. Hamm, Mark S (2007). Terrorism as Crime: From Oklahoma City to Al-Qaeda and Beyond. NYU Press, p. 29
  5. Specter, Michael (1990-11-06). "Jewish Leader Kahane Slain in New York". Washington Post. 
  6. Judge Gives Maximum Term in Kahane Case, The New York Times, 30 January 1992
  7. The Destruction of Sarposa by Fred Burton and Scott Stewart, Strategic Forecasting (Stratfor) 18 June 2008 (retrieved on 1 October 2008).
  8. "Defense: Juror 'bias' in terror verdicts". CNN. Retrieved May 1, 2010. 
  9. "El Sayyid Nosair." Federal Bureau of Prisons. Retrieved on 17 February 2011.
  10. Jerusalem Post Scheffler, Gil. "Sharon was Kahane killer's target", 15 August 2010, The Jerusalem Post

Coordinates: 40°45′20″N 73°58′23″W / 40.75555°N 73.97298°W / 40.75555; -73.97298

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