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Press Release

ADL Commends Law Enforcement in Tracking Down Florida Mosque Bombing Suspect

Boca Raton, FL, May 5, 2011 ... The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) commends the law enforcement agencies involved in tracking down the alleged hate crime perpetrators who targeted the Islamic Center of Northeast Florida in May 2010. According to the FBI, Sandlin Matthews Smith was shot and killed yesterday in Oklahoma when agents tried to serve Smith an arrest warrant.

Andrew Rosenkranz, ADL Florida Regional Director, issued the following statement:

While we had hoped that law enforcement would have the opportunity to arrest and bring Sandlin Matthews Smith to justice, we're confident that law enforcement took the appropriate action under the circumstances with which they were confronted, and we commend them for their collaborative investigation that began one year ago.

The persistence of law enforcement in this particular case sends a loud and clear message to those who would seek to commit crimes motivated by hate: that their bigoted actions will be met with severe consequences. There is no place for hate in Florida's communities and attacks against any house of worship will not be tolerated.

The Anti-Defamation League is a national leading advocate for hate crime laws. In the early 1980's, ADL drafted model hate crimes legislation, which has been adopted in one form or another by 45 states and the District of Columbia, including Florida. ADL was also a lead advocate for the comprehensive federal hate crimes law signed by President Obama in 2009. ADL regularly works with federal, state and local law enforcement on hate crime issues and training.

In this particular case, ADL commends the joint state and federal investigation under the JTTF, Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, FBI and the ATF.

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.

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