The Washington Post reported Wednesday that Ramin Yektaparast, who heads an Iranian biker gang, is the main suspect in the shooting at a synagogue in the city of Essen in western Germany, last November. After the incident, investigators from the German authorities suspected that they were activists from the extreme right, but then the picture changed and the suspicion was directed toward Iran. Now, security officials in Germany and the US have pointed an accusing finger at Yektaparast, who was suspected of murder in Germany and currently lives in Iran.
Investigators of the event now assume that Yektaparast is linked to the Revolutionary Guards in Iran, who activated him in order to recruit activists on German soil and carry out attacks against Jewish institutions. According to the Washington Post, this is a well-known tactic used by the Revolutionary Guards to hide any responsibility for terrorist attacks on European soil. The German police tracked down Yektaparast, after another 35-year-old Iranian threw a Molotov cocktail at a school, near a synagogue, in the city of Bochum. The same Iranian citizen was arrested, and the number of the same Yektaparast was found on his mobile phone.
authorities quickly connected the Essen shooting to a different kind of perpetrator: Ramin Yektaparast, a biker gang leader wanted on suspicion of murder in Germany who now lives in Iran and is accused of directing antisemitic attacks from there. https://t.co/pVJfvr655h— Roya Hakakian (@RoyaTheWriter) March 16, 2023
Although the Ministry of the Interior in Berlin recently issued warnings about damage to the institutions of the Jewish community by the Revolutionary Guards, Germany continues to refuse to put the organization on the blacklist of terrorist organizations. As a reminder, four holes caused by bullets were found on the morning of Friday, November 18, 2022, in the building connected to the old synagogue in the city of Essen in western Germany. The building where the bullet holes were found used to be used live by the rabbi of the city's synagogue.
According to the local police, passers-by on the street reported the holes caused by the shooting, and that in the video from the security camera at the scene, an unknown person can be seen shooting at the door of the building, but due to the poor quality of the recording, he cannot be identified. The old synagogue in the city of Essen and the rabbi's house where the gunshot holes were found, were set on fire on Kristallnacht in November of 1938 by the Nazi regime.
Ramin Yektaparast from Iran who is said to be linked to the IRGC is the main suspect in organizing an attack in November on a Jewish cultural center in Essen, Germany, the @washingtonpost has quoted Western intelligence officials as saying.https://t.co/HuEf7ZkIUG pic.twitter.com/sBQqyLGaGf— Iran International English (@IranIntl_En) March 6, 2023
The Salomon Ludwig Steinheim Institute for Jewish-German History and the University of Duisburg-Essen dorm rooms are now located in the rabbi's house, right next to the synagogue building. The protection measures of the old synagogue, which is currently used by the city of Essen as a cultural institute, will be checked and adjusted if necessary, according to the police.