Jurors get glimpse into relationship between Lodi man and his co-defendant at firebombing trial
Jurors got a glimpse Tuesday into the relationship between Aakash Dalal and his co-defendant and former Lodi schoolmate, Anthony Graziano, when instant messages showed the two celebrating media coverage of attacks at synagogues between December 2011 and January 2012.
And they showed Dalal egging on Graziano to do more damage if he wants to earn a spot on “the ranch.”
At one point, Dalal allegedly tells Graziano, “I don’t trust you until you kill a Jew.”
Authorities say Dalal was the brains and Graziano was the brawn in a month-long spree that terrorized North Jersey’s Jewish Community. The two 24-year-olds were charged together in a 30-count indictment for spray painting anti-Semitic graffiti at temples in Maywood and Hackensack and attempted to burn down others in Paramus and in Rutherford, where a rabbi and his family awoke to flames spread by Molotov cocktails.
Graziano was tried and convicted of terrorism and 19 other counts in May. He is awaiting sentencing. Dalal is being tried on 20 charges including terrorism, aggravated arson, bias intimidation, conspiracy to commit arson and hindering.
For roughly an hour Tuesday afternoon Andre DiMino, a former digital forensic analyst for the Prosecutor’s Office, read America Online Instant Messages he said he recovered from a laptop that was found in Graziano’s room. Jurors read along with printouts from the conversation handed out by prosecutors in white binders.
The conversation between Dreeper1Up (allegedly Graziano) and QuantumWorm (allegedly Dalal) started on Dec. 20 – the day a Maywood synagogue was vandalized – with the two discussing that “it’s almost showtime” and picking up later with QuantumWorm saying, “This will be on the news tomorrow.”
One person says how they wrote “Jews Did 9/11” and the other says, “me too.”
They shared an embedded hyperlink of an article about the crime
“The Jews got what they deserved tonight,” QuantumWorm says. “We should do another in Paramus.”
In another exchange they talk about a solidarity event, hosted after the Maywood attack and on the same night as the vandalism at another synagogue in Hackensack.
“They had a solidarity thing today and we struck like 4 hours later,” DiMino read from the conversation.
“So hilarious, man. We owned them last night,” QuantumWorm wrote, later adding “we made the New York news.”
In a Dec. 23 conversation at 4:45 a.m., Dreeper1Up tells QuantumWorm, “if a Jew gets in the way, I’ll stab him.”
“That’s the way to go, no hesitation,” QuantumWorm replies.
QuantumWorm talks intermittently about campaigning in New England for Ron Paul, including a trip to New Hampshire and going door-to-door and visiting college campuses.
“I met Romney and McCain today,” QuantumWorm says. “I called Romney a socialist fool. I was on the news.”
In a Jan. 4 conversation, Dreeper1Up says the cold weather prevented Temple K’Hal Adath Jeshurun in Paramus from burning.
“Basically no damage. It did nothing,” QuantumWorm says. “You haven’t proven yourself.
“That counts as nothing,” Dreeper1Up says
“No that was horrendous,” QuantumWorm says.
Graziano asks if has to cause significant damage before Dalal returns from campaigning, adding that burning one down is going to be difficult.
“Yes,” QuantumWorm says.
“I’m going to need more gas,” Dreeper1Up says.
Graziano later asks Dalal “how much damage will be acceptable?”
“A total guttage,” Dalal replies.
Graziano assures Dalal he will not let him down, according to the Instant Messages.
“If you couldn’t gather up the strength to burn a [syna]gogue, then I can’t expect you to shoot back,” QuantumWorm said, refering to a ranch in “SC.”
Graziano chooses the Jewish Community Center next because of the woods nearby. As the two discuss the merits of adding batteries to spark an explosion, Dalal mentions that he’s watching himself on TV. “I’m going to be fuhrer one day,” he says
On Jan. 6, Graziano tells of his plan for the JCC, where he will place five aerosol cans and then use the Molotov cocktails.
“That actually sounds like a great plan,” QuantumWorm says.
After the attempt Dreeper1Up tells QuantumWorm that he encountered – and stabbed a police officer – who foiled his plan.
“Where is it on the news,” QuantumWorm asks, doubting the story.
“I was filling up my Molotov’s and a car came,” Dreeper1Up says. “Then I started running and got caught in a thorn bush. Then he approached me. It was a quick stab and run.”
“It would still be on the news,” Quantum Worm says.
They then turn their sites to the Rutherford synangogue.
QuantumWorm asks, “where is the all wood [syna]gogue located?”
Dreeper1Up gives the address.
“I’m not giving up,” Dreeper1Up says, “third time is the charm.”
Graziano says he will cork the Molotov cocktails so he doesn’t have to waste time preparing them when he arrives to the site.
“Make sure they break through the windows,” QuantumWorm says, adding that “if necessary throw a large rock through the window first and then the Molotov.”
As the two discuss the intricacies of preparing the Molotov cocktail, QuantumWorm asks why Dreeper1Up is using bandannas for the wick. “That’s not cost effective,” QuantumWorm says. “Steal an American flag somewhere.”
After the attack on Congregation Beth El in Rutherford, the two laugh about the Molotov cocktail hitting the Rabbi’s bed and wonder if aerosol cans authorities found on the roof will contain fingerprints.
“Next time, burn the whole place down. Leave no evidence,” QuantumWorm says.
“Definitely,” Dreeper1Up says.
As he watched news reports of the attack QuantumWorm says, “I’m looking at the house now. Nice [expletive] throw.”
QuantumWorm says the government is “pathetic” and likely has “40-plus people working on the case” and can’t figure it out.
Dreeper1Up,” they suck.”
QuantumWorm then tells Dreeper1Up that he has “definitely proven himself.”
If a lighter hadn’t failed, Dreeper1Up says he “would’ve killed them.”
“Just seeing the word ‘firebomb’ in the news is great,” QuantumWorm says, adding “you’ve surpassed what I dreamt.”
As the two share hyperlinks, QuantumWorm says, “every single Jew on the face of the earth will be wiped out.”
Dreeper1Up says, “I will do everything to help see that happens.”
The defense challenged the admission of some of the digital evidence saying that because the data was bookmarked and copied into an Adobe Acrobat file it was not the raw data.
They will have an opportunity to cross examine DiMino when the state finishes presenting its witness when the trial resumes Thursday at 10 a.m., because of the Jewish holiday.