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12 arrested after breaking into NYC synagogue through secret tunnels: officials

BROOKLYN, N.Y. (PIX11) – At least 12 people were arrested for allegedly breaking into the Chabad Headquarters in Brooklyn on Monday, according to the NYPD.

The incident happened around 3:30 p.m. at 770 Eastern Parkway, police said.

The director of media for Chabad.org, Motti Seligson, posted on X that “a group of extremist students” had broken through walls in properties near the synagogue. The synagogue is located underneath the headquarters, according to an X post from Chabad Lubavitch HQ.

A complaint filed with the Department of Buildings said tunnels had been dug underneath the Chabad Headquarters that connected to the synagogue, allegedly “destroying” the building’s foundation. A DOB spokesperson told PIX11 News the NYPD requested inspectors to the scene Tuesday morning and an investigation was expected to take place.

Seligson said a cement truck was brought in on Monday to make repairs, which is when chaos broke out.

“Those efforts were disrupted by the extremists who broke through the wall to the synagogue, vandalizing the sanctuary, in an effort to preserve their unauthorized access,” he said in his statement on X.

He said the synagogue was closed, “pending a structural safety review.”

The charges against the 12 people arrested in connection with the break-in are pending, according to the NYPD.

The Chabad Headquarters is home to the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, according to the organization’s website. Ownership of the synagogue underneath the Chabad Headquarters has been disputed in the court system for years.

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