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Montgomery County police investigate antisemitic fliers

Residents saw a slow-driving car dropping fliers pointing to a Holocaust-denial website

(iStock)

Montgomery County police Monday were investigating weighted-down fliers that residents said were distributed around multiple blocks in Silver Spring, Md., and directed people to an antisemitic website.

The fliers were put in plastic bags weighed down with rocks or corn kernels and tossed in front of dozens of homes in the middle of the night Saturday, said residents of the Forest Estate neighborhood.

The fliers included an image of a syringe and a QR code directing people to a website promoting Holocaust denial and support for Adolf Hitler, residents said.

Newsweek reported Monday that dozens of fliers “containing antisemitic conspiracy theories that the coronavirus pandemic was started by the Jewish community” were found over the weekend in areas of California and North Carolina. The fliers were distributed in Greensboro, N.C., as well as in Pasadena and Beverly Hills, Calif., late Saturday night and into Sunday morning, Newsweek reported.

“We had residents in a neighborhood that received fliers with anti-Jewish sentiment,” said Ronald Glenn, public information officer with the Greensboro Police Department. “We received several complaints from residents, and so we had officers look into the fliers. I don’t have a specific number but as of right now we only received complaints from one neighborhood. … The fliers contained antisemitic theories relating to covid-19.”

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A Monday news release by the Montgomery County police said an initial complainant called about a male in a car that looked like a Volkswagen Jetta driving around 12:45 a.m. throwing “literature from his car window.”

“Numerous fliers containing the Anti-Semitic language were discovered throughout the Forest Estate neighborhood. Anyone with information on this incident or the identity of the suspect, is asked to call the 3rd District Patrol - Community Engagement Division at 240-773-6800,” police said in the release.

Some of the fliers left in Montgomery County contained antisemitic statements related to the coronavirus, a Montgomery County police spokeswoman said. She said investigators do not know if there is a direct link to fliers distributed in other parts of the country.

Traci Harris Jenkins, who works in media production, said she and her husband were putting up Christmas lights just after midnight Saturday when he saw someone throw something in their driveway. It was a piece of paper with a picture of a syringe on it, inside a plastic bag weighed down with corn.

“I knew it was some crazy anti-vaxxer” when she saw the image, she said.

They saw the car going slowly up and down the block, and she walked a few houses down and saw similar bags in driveways.

“We didn’t want to touch it,” she said of the bag. “These people are vile, antisemitic creatures.”

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The code on the paper directed people to a site, she said, calling the Holocaust a hoax.

They called the police in the morning, she said, as had other neighbors.

“It was creepy. This is not good, but I’ll be frank: I’ve been Black in America for 55 years, so it’s not as surprising. It’s not something new. I hope people are caught and whatever energy is behind this group, they can get shut down.”

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