No suspects in bomb attack that rocked Russian JCC

MOSCOW — An explosion ripped through a Jewish community center in the Russian city of Yaroslavl, causing no injuries but seriously damaging the two-story building in the city's historic quarter.

The bomb used in the attack Friday of last week contained a charge equivalent to more than two pounds of TNT, a spokesperson for regional police said in a telephone interview.

No one claimed responsibility for the attack.

"I think no one will be arrested and punished," said Inna Davidova, director of the Hesed Charitable Society and member of the community's executive board.

Davidova saw no reason for anyone to attack the community, adding, "We have always had a good relationship with the authorities and with the general community."

The community center is located in a synagogue built in 1916. In 1934, the building was confiscated by local Communist authorities. The Jewish community recovered the property in 1994.

Along with a synagogue, the center houses local organizations that serve the needs of the 2,500-member Jewish community in Yaroslavl, about 130 miles northeast of Moscow.

The explosion, caused by a bomb planted outside the center, shattered all the windows in the building and in some neighboring houses.

An office of the Hesed society and a room that served as the community library suffered the worst damage.

Also last week, a Jewish center in Smolensk was robbed and daubed with anti-Semitic graffiti.

Some Russian media reports suggested a possible link between the bombing of the center and the birthday of Adolf Hitler, which falls on April 20 and which is sometimes marked by Russian neo-Nazis with acts of violence.

The Russian daily Moskovsky Komsomolets noted that several members of a neo-Nazi group known as the Werewolf Legion were recently sentenced to jail terms by a regional court in Yaroslavl.

The paper suggested the explosion may have been carried out by supporters of the jailed neo-Nazis.