Stabbing at rabbi's home an 'act of terrorism' – New York governor

'ACT OF TERRORISM.' New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks to the media outside the home of rabbi Chaim Rottenbergin Monsey, in New York on December 29, 2019 after a machete attack that took place earlier outside the rabbi's home during the Jewish festival of Hanukkah in Monsey, New York. Photo by Kena Betancur/AFP

'ACT OF TERRORISM.' New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks to the media outside the home of rabbi Chaim Rottenbergin Monsey, in New York on December 29, 2019 after a machete attack that took place earlier outside the rabbi's home during the Jewish festival of Hanukkah in Monsey, New York.

Photo by Kena Betancur/AFP

MONSEY, United States – A stabbing attack that wounded 5 people at a rabbi's house in a New York suburb during celebrations for the Jewish festival of Hanukkah was "an act of terrorism," the state governor said Sunday, December 29.

Local media reported that a man with a machete entered the rabbi's property in Monsey, Rockland County on Saturday evening, knifing several people before fleeing. Police said a suspect was later arrested.

"This is an act of terrorism. I think these are domestic terrorists. They are trying to inflict fear," New York Governor Andrew Cuomo told reporters after the latest in a spate of attacks against Jewish targets.

"They're motivated by hate. They are doing mass attacks. These are terrorists in our country perpetrating terrorism on other Americans, and that's how we should treat it," Cuomo added.

Last year a white supremacist walked into a Pittsburgh synagogue and killed 11 people – the deadliest attack against the Jewish community in the United States.

Earlier this month 6 people, including two suspects, were killed in a Jersey City shooting at a kosher deli, which authorities said was fueled in part by anti-Semitism.

A report in April from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) stated that the number of anti-Semitic attacks in 2018 was close to the record of 2017, with 1,879 incidents.

"I was praying for my life," said witness Aron Kohn, 65, according to the New York Times, comparing the knife used by the attacker to "the size of a broomstick."

Kohn also threw chairs and tables in an attempt to head off the attacker, he told CNN. – Rappler.com