LOS ANGELES, Nov. 4 (UPI) — Irving Rubin, the fiery leader of the militant Jewish Defense League, was reported on life-support in a Los Angeles hospital Monday after he apparently attempted suicide prior to a court appearance on charges stemming from an alleged bomb plot targeting a Southern California mosque and a congressman’s office.
Rubin apparently used a razor blade — what jail personnel termed a “non-contraband instrument” — to cut his own throat Monday morning after breakfast and then either jumped or fell 18 feet from a balcony at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in downtown Los Angeles.
“Rubin … was scheduled to appear in court today for a pre-trial motions hearing,” the U.S. Attorney’s office said in a statement. “Defendant Rubin is reported to have suffered serious head injuries and is currently in an intensive care unit of a local
Rubin’s lawyer, Peter Morris, told reporters, “We’re told that he is brain-dead and on life support.” He added that Rubin’s family was meeting with treating physicians at County USC Medical Center Monday night.
The 56-year-old Rubin was arrested Dec. 11 along with an associate, Earl Krugel, on charges of plotting to bomb a mosque in Culver City and the Beverly Hills office of Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., a descendant of Lebanese immigrants. Rubin and Krugel faced 40 years in prison if convicted.
Rubin became leader of the JDL in 1985 from its founder, Rabbi Meir Kahane, who was slain in New York five years later. Rubin, whose biography states he was arrested 40 times in his life, was a vocal and belligerent advocate of confronting Nazis, Arabs and other anti-Semitic groups. The JDL has frequently accused the United States of pandering to Arab terrorist groups at the expense of Israel.
Monday’s incident remained under investigation; family members and supporters quickly told the media that they believed Rubin had not tried to commit suicide, but had been attacked.
“We believe it was an attempt on his life,” said Brett Stone, a JDL member who acted as a spokesman for the Rubin family. “I don’t know how a person could slit his own throat and then climb over a railing and jump; Irv was not in that great of shape.”
The JDL has argued that Rubin and Krugel were being “railroaded” by the U.S. government, which used an FBI informant to build the case against the two men.
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