SECRET tunnel discovery leads to riot in Brooklyn

A wild riot broke out at a historic Brooklyn synagogue after a tunnel was discovered meant to expand the holy site, resulting in at least a dozen Orthodox Jews being arrested and hauled away in cuffs.

Construction crews were attempting to fill the tunnel with cement when the riot broke out and police arrived on the scene. The tunnel had been illegally dug allegedly to reach a closed-down women’s bath, according to the New York Post.

The incensed young Jewish men were videoed ripping down wood paneling and wooden support beams on Monday at the Chabad-Lubavitch World Headquarters in Crown Heights.

“Other footage from the temple on Eastern Parkway showed cops trying to hold back dozens of Hasidic Jewish men as they pushed their way into the 20-foot-wide enclosure underneath the women’s section, toppling over wooden pews in their anger,” the New York Post reported.

“Synagogue leader Rabbi Yosef Braun condemned those involved, saying they arrived ‘ready to destroy and deface the Holy Walls’ — calling it ‘mind-boggling,'” the New York Post added.

The members of the movement have reportedly been digging the tunnel for almost a year.

“It was apparently designed to reach an abandoned women’s mikvah — or ritual bath — around the corner and ‘expand’ the synagogue, according to the Jewish outlet Forward, but it is unclear what motivated the members of the Chabad-Lubavitch community to start digging out the tunnel,” the media outlet noted.

Israel National News reported that the tunnel was discovered in December after neighbors heard strange noises under their homes.

After the tunnel was found, leaders of the synagogue retained structural engineers to determine how much damage was done. They were the ones who brought in construction workers with cement mixers to fill in the tunnel. That kicked off the riot among the young Hasidic men who allegedly used a hammer to bust through the synagogue’s brick walls. Reports are coming out that some of the men jeered the police who tried to get the riot under control.

“A few even managed to make their way into the makeshift tunnel, with video showing at least one man brazenly drinking out of a can inside the tunnel as cops tried to hold off the others who were trying to get inside,” the New York Post stated. “Officers were also seen holding back men outside the 100-year-old synagogue, the headquarters of one of the largest groups of Hasidic Jews in the world.”

The riot went on for several hours eventually ending with officers escorting young men out of the tunnels in handcuffs. At least ten of the men arrested were slapped with criminal misdemeanor charges. One protester was charged with obstructing governmental administration and another received a summons for disorderly conduct, according to sources who spoke with the media outlet.

No one was injured during the riot. It reportedly occurred during a dispute over who owns the property.

Synagogue leader Rabbi Yosef Braun issued a statement calling on the Jewish community “to call them out in all possible ways and strong terms,” referring to the young men who incited the riot.

“Braun was horrified that they defaced the ‘shul,’ or synagogue, saying to ‘demolish and destroy a shul — never mind the dangerous aspect, never mind the religious aspect — it’s mind-boggling. They need to be put in their place, put in their place in so many meanings of the word,” he declared.

Chabad-Lubavitcher Rabbi Motti Seligson also issued a statement asserting that the movement had “attempted to gain proper control of the premises through the New York State court system. Unfortunately, despite consistently prevailing in court, the process has dragged on for years.”

Despite that claim, he condemned what the young Jews did, brawling with police over the tunnel. He labeled them “extremists.”

“This is, obviously, deeply distressing to the Lubavitch movement and the Jewish community worldwide,” the rabbi wrote on X. “We hope and pray to be able to expeditiously restore the sanctity and decorum of this holy place.”

Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky, who is the Chabad-Lubavitch chairman, thanked the NYPD for helping in the matter.

“The Chabad-Lubavitch community is pained by the vandalism of a group of young agitators who damaged the synagogue below Chabad Headquarters. These odious actions will be investigated and the sanctity of the synagogue will be restored,” he said.

“Our thanks to the NYPD for their professionalism and sensitivity,” the rabbi told the police. “We are grateful for the outpouring of concern, and for our Chabad Lubavitch institutions around the world.”

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