Assassination of Meir Kahane

Meir Kahane, an Israeli-American rabbi and politician, was assassinated on 5 November 1990 (18 Cheshvan 5751), shortly after 9:00 p.m. at the New York Marriott East Side, a hotel in Manhattan, New York City.

Assassination of Meir Kahane
Location525 Lexington Avenue
New York Marriott East Side, Manhattan, New York City
Coordinates40°45′20″N 73°58′22″W / 40.75556°N 73.97278°W / 40.75556; -73.97278Coordinates: 40°45′20″N 73°58′22″W / 40.75556°N 73.97278°W / 40.75556; -73.97278
Date5 November 1990
(18 Cheshvan 5751)
Shortly after 9:00 p.m. (EST)
TargetMeir Kahane
Weapons.357 caliber pistol.[1]
Deaths1 (Meir Kahane)
Injured3 (1 bystander, 1 police officer, the perpetrator)
PerpetratorBelieved to be El Sayyid Nosair
The monument built in memory of Meir Kahane, in Kahane Park, in the Israeli settlement of Kiryat Arba, in the West Bank


In the evening of 5 November 1990, Kahane gave a speech in the second-floor lecture hall of a Marriott Hotel, in Manhattan, at 525 Lexington Avenue, to an audience, most of whom were Orthodox Jews. After his speech, a crowd of well-wishers gathered around Kahane as he answered questions. Shortly after 9:00 p.m., a man disguised as an Orthodox Jew approached Kahane and shot him from close range with a .357 caliber pistol.[1] Kahane was hit in the neck by the gunfire and died of his wounds shortly thereafter.[2][3][4][5]

After shooting Kahane, the assassin fled from the hotel and reached Lexington Avenue, where, in front of a post office, he attempted to take over a taxi at gunpoint. Carlos Acosta, an on-duty postal police officer, drew his pistol and ordered the assassin to freeze.[1] Instead, the assassin turned toward the officer and shot and hit him in the chest. The officer returned fire, hitting the assassin in the chin. Afterwards, the officer arrested the man. Born in Egypt, he was the American citizen El Sayyid Nosair, who had been living in Jersey City.[1]

Prosecution of Nosair

Nosair was charged with the murder of Kahane. During the legal proceedings, Nosair denied all charges against him. Although there were witnesses who identified Nosair as the assassin, Nosair was not convicted of Kahane's assassination, in part because Kahane's family had opposed the performing of an autopsy after the assassination and the extracting of the bullets. However, Nosair was convicted of assault, possession of an illegal firearm, and of shooting a US Postal Inspection Service agent. Nosair was sentenced to 22 years of imprisonment, the maximum allowed.[6]

Conspiracy to free Nosair from prison

Nosair was to serve his sentence in the Attica State Prison, in New York. In 1993, Sheik Omar Abdul-Rahman was arrested in New York. An investigation later revealed that a terrorist cell, led by Abdul-Rahman, conducted detailed surveillance of the Attica State Prison facilities and that it had discussed plans to use a truck bomb attack, combined with an armed assault, to rescue Nosair from prison.[7]

Nosair's conviction of activity in a terrorist cell

The investigation of Abdul-Rahman showed that Nosair belonged to the terrorist cell. It was led by Abdul-Rahman who later tried to blow up the World Trade Center in 1993 by using an explosive-laden vehicle. This time, Nosair was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole, plus 15 years. It was decided that because Kahane's death was part of the total "seditious conspiracy," Nosair could be convicted of killing Kahane.[8] He is serving his sentence in the United States Penitentiary (USP) in Marion, Illinois.[9]

Nosair's confession of Kahane's assassination

Several years after the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, Nosair made a confession to federal agents of assassinating Kahane.[10]

Possible accomplices

In August 2010, the Israeli newspaper The Jerusalem Post, which, in turn, quoted from the mid August issue of Playboy, claimed that Nosair had two partners and that his original target was Israeli military figure and future Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. "He added that on the night he shot Kahane dead, he was accompanied by two co-conspirators to the Marriot Hotel in Manhattan where Kahane was speaking – one of whom was also carrying a gun. The men, Bilal al-Kaisi of Jordan and Mohammed A. Salameh, a Palestinian illegal alien later involved in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, have never been charged for their part in the slaying."[11]

See also

External links


  1. ^ a b c d Kahane Is Killed After Giving Talk In New York Hotel – New York Times
  2. ^ Juergensmeyer, Mark (2003). Terror in the Mind of God. University of California Press. p. 59.
  3. ^ Katz, Samuel M. "Relentless Pursuit: The DSS and the manhunt for the al-Qaeda terrorists", 2002
  4. ^ Hamm, Mark S (2007). Terrorism as Crime: From Oklahoma City to Al-Qaeda and Beyond. NYU Press, p. 29
  5. ^ Specter, Michael (6 November 1990). "Jewish Leader Kahane Slain in New York". The Washington Post.
  6. ^ Judge Gives Maximum Term in Kahane Case, The New York Times, 30 January 1992
  7. ^ The Destruction of Sarposa by Fred Burton and Scott Stewart, Strategic Forecasting (Stratfor) 18 June 2008 (retrieved on 1 October 2008).
  8. ^ "Defense: Juror 'bias' in terror verdicts". CNN. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
  9. ^ "El Sayyid Nosair." Federal Bureau of Prisons. Retrieved 17 February 2011.
  10. ^ Scheffler, Gil. "Sharon was Kahane killer's target", 15 August 2010, The Jerusalem Post
  11. ^