Release of convicted white supremacist worries Phoenix Jews

Reuters/August 21, 1999
By Martin Wolk

Phoenix -- Members of this city's Jewish community are concerned over the release of a white supremacist convicted as a teen-ager in 1989 for conspiring to bomb ethnic groups, a rabbi said.

In the wake of last week's shooting by a white supremacist at a Los Angeles Jewish Community Center, "the level of angst is very high," said Rabbi Robert Kravitz.

Michael A. Bloom, 26, was released from a state prison in Yuma on Thursday and returned to Phoenix, where he will remain under house arrest.

Bloom has said he renounced his past beliefs.

In a July interview with Jewish News of Greater Phoenix, Bloom said he wanted to apologize to the Jewish community and ask for forgiveness.

"I would like to work with the Jewish community and anybody else who wants to be involved in trying to prevent other children from making the same bad decisions that I made," he said.

Bloom served a four-year sentence after his 1989 conviction on charges of misconduct with a weapon and conspiracy to commit arson on an occupied structure. Police had found pipe-bomb materials, a sawed-off shotgun, piles of anti-Jewish and anti-black propaganda and map identifying 30 potential targets, including a Jewish bookstore in Scottsdale and the Anti-Defamation League office in Phoenix.

He was released in 1993 but sent back within months, after police found he was hiding several guns and ammunition in his apartment, along with more neo-Nazi propaganda. He was convicted of a parole violation and sentenced to an 11-year term, which expires in October 2004.

Under house arrest, Bloom will only be able to go to work, church or rehabilitation programs. He could qualify for a complete release by July 2001.

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