Torrance, California, Wednesday,
November 27, 2002
Fire Tied To JDL Member
Man allegedly boasted of firebombing
the "Holocaust deniers" bookstore.
By Matt Krasnowski
Copley News Service
A JEWISH Defense League
member claimed credit in a taped
conversation for firebombing a "Nazi
bookstore" that law enforcement sources
contend is the 1984 arson fire that
destroyed the Torrance office of a group
that claims the Holocaust was a hoax.
Prosecutors alleged in court Monday
that during their investigation of JDL
member Earl Krugel he claimed
credit for a firebombing of a bookstore.
They refused to discuss the bookstore
allegation beyond what was in the
paperwork. But a law enforcement source
familiar with the probe said investigators
strongly believe Krugel is referring to
the July 4, 1984, firebombing of the
Torrance office of the Institute for
Historical Review, which was a lightning
rod for controversy during the early
The fire at the group's Noontide Press,
2539 W. 237th St., was believed to be
started by a Molotov cocktail or by
someone dousing the building with gasoline
and igniting it, police said at the time.
The fire caused $300,000 to $400,000
damage. Krugel is currently in custody and
arrested last year along with late JDL
chairman Irv Rubin (left) on
charges of plotting to bomb a Culver City
mosque and an office of Rep. Darrell
Issa, R-Vista. Krugel has pleaded not
guilty and his trial is set to begin in
The bookstore allegation stems from
Krugel's attempt to be released on bail.
He contended he should be released in
light of Rubin's death earlier this month
after an alleged suicide
attempt. Prosecutors opposed bail,
contending Krugel was a danger to the
community and citing a transcript from a
snippet of November 2001 taped
conversation between Krugel and an
According to court papers, the
informant asked Krugel about the biggest
bombing he has "ever seen, done" and asks
if the JDL bombed offices of the Anti-Defamation
"Nobody hit the ADL although they
deserve it richly," Krugel reportedly
said. "Uh, no it was on the uh,
bookstore... that Nazi bookstore... the
"I remember you telling me something
about that," the informant replies.
"That was beautiful, man," Krugel said.
"I did it. It was better than I expected."
Krugel also notes that authorities
never linked the arson fire to the JDL.
"Not one ounce of heat came down with it,"
During a hearing Monday, Krugel's
lawyer, Mark Werksman, said his
client "denies being part of any such
scheme." Werksman said the allegations
should not be considered in the bail
request because Krugel "is not charged"
with any bombing and the allegation "is
U.S. Magistrate Judge Victor
Kenton rejected the bail bid, saying
there was evidence to support keeping
Krugel jailed even without the new
The Institute for Historical Review's
office and bookstore had been the target
of vandalism and protests in the past and
a multimillion-dollar lawsuit brought by a
concentration camp survivor. Mark
Weber, director of the IHR, said he
wasn't surprised that the attack was
linked to the JDL.
"Krugel's statement confirms our
suspicions about that attack," Weber said.
"It's good to see some sort of resolution
of this crime." Weber said that after the
fire Rubin came to the location and denied
responsibility for the fire but praised
whoever did it.
Irv Rubin in
Irving: A Radical's Diary
leader's attorneys want separate trials
attorney wants racist remarks thrown
to Blow up a Mosque? Meet the JDL
fanatics | Los
Angeles Times softens the profile of
JDL terrorist Irv Rubin | LA
grand jury indicts JDL members Rubin,
Krugel in bomb plan | The
Irv Rubin story: Never say never
again | FBI
spells Finis to Thug's Career: Militant
JDL Chief Irv Rubin Arrested after
Gunpowder Plot | Australia
reports | Full
text of charges | IHR
recalls JDL's record | David
Irving, Radical's Diary on Rubin:
seems to have enjoyed a life inspired
by hatred of others whom he regards as
inferior -- the very archetype of a
nazi. | "From
the Irv Rubin bust to the Stern Gang:
The Rich History of Jewish