Monday, November 14, 2011
Who is Targeting Rabbi Yeshayahu Pinto Shlita? The FBI Is Now Getting Involved In The Investigation
Prominent journalist Akiva Novik spoke with Kol Chai Radio’s Mordechai Lavi on Monday morning, 17 Cheshvan, providing details on the attack on the home of Rabbi Yeshayahu Pinto Shlita. The incident occurred on Sunday night, the eve of 17 Cheshvan, at 23:15.
According to Novik, the rav was receiving people when the explosion was heard.
The blast was described as “very powerful” and the Ashdod police chief personally visited the rav’s home to obtain a firsthand look at the situation. Novik adds the incident is being viewed as an extremely serious step up in threats against Rabbi Pinto.
Novik explains that a number of months ago, Rav Pinto filed a complaint with the FBI, explaining that he was being targeted in a multimillion dollar extortion operation, leading to an investigation in which he is a central figure.
The rav has pointed a finger at a number of businessman and an American advertising official. Pinto claims that valuable information has been stolen from him as well.
Regarding the grenade attack, police do believe it is connected to the FBI case, and the incident is being viewed as a warning to the rav, “that we know where you live and we can come and get you at any time”.
One of the people waiting for the rav required treatment for hysteria.
Channel 10’s Avishai Ben-Chaim on Sunday reported that Rav Pinto filed a complaint with the FBI and a number of hours later, the grenade attack.
We released the headlines of the case, and quite honestly, we cannot know where this will lead. We are talking about an investigation that is being run by American agencies, dealing with huge sums of money and extortion.
One of the people extremely familiar with the details of the case is retired Jerusalem Police Chief Aryeh Amit [who is very close to Rav Pinto], who is personally handling the case.
When the investigators are done, there will be an ‘earthquake in the United States’ that will be felt in Israel.
We are dealing with threats of negative publicity against the rav if he does not agree to pay enormous sums. The case involved Israelis. The information they threaten to release include sensitive medical information pertaining to the rav’s family.
What can be so sensitive about a medical file?
If I told you this I would be doing the work of those threatening the rav.
Do you believe there is a connection between your report and the attack last night?
I do not know. I heard what you heard. It appears it may be connected. Rav Pinto is among the most popular rabbonim in Israel, and his name around the world, among the non-religious, is even more popular.
It is clear to me from our conversation that you have much more information but you have decided not to release it at present.
Permit me nevertheless to ask. The main players involved in the investigation – are these people know to us here in Israel?
There are names that are mentioned but actual evidence resulting from the investigation, at present I have to say there is nothing that will lead to these people.
Good morning to Aryeh Amit. Can you tell us what is happening?
On the one hand there is an individual who is all good, who wishes to assist others and do good. On the other hand, there are evil people, those who seek a way to make money and are willing to use extortion to actualize this. There are some involved who are close to the rav, and this has lead to the investigation of authorities in Israel and the United States.
Now that the case has reached the media, on Channel 10 last night, it appears to have led to the grenade incident as a scare tactic.
It is scary but more than that, it is infuriating. When you realize we are dealing with a rav who is loved and wants nothing more than to help others, it is infuriating, that there are those who are willing to resort to extortion to get what they want.
As the investigation continues, it will reach Israel too. The main extortion is in the United States, but there are components here in Israel involving the chareidi community.
In the regular community when one is blacklisted and the subject of a smear campaign, it is discussed over the weekend and then forgotten but in the chareidi community, it can ruin one for life. They are using this power, realizing the potential damage to the rav in the chareidi world.
We await the police investigation. How did the rav deal with the grenade attack?
I can’t say that he enjoyed it but he is fine… he is ready for what comes his way.