Incident Summary:

05/15/1985: A pipe bomb exploded outside the front door of the Northridge home of Dr. George Ashley in San Fernando Valley, just 24 miles northwest of Los Angeles, California, United States. Dr. Ashley was a former high school teacher and an advisor at the Institute for Historical Review, a private research organization in Torrance, California, which has maintained that the Holocaust never occurred. No one was injured in the incident, but the blast destroyed the front door and caused about $1,000 in property damage. Prior to the explosion, the sidewalk outside the home had been spray-painted with the letters "JDL." Though no one claimed credit for the bombing and the Jewish Defense League (JDL) actually denied responsibility, authorities believe it was the action of the JDL, as Ashley's house had been previously broken into and vandalized with slogans saying "Never Again" and "No More Holocaust."

GTD ID:
198505150015

When:
1985-05-15

Country:
United States

Region:
North America

Province/administrative
region/u.s. state:

California

City:
Northridge

Location Details:
outside residence in suburban Northridge community in San Fernando Valley, about 24 miles northwest of Los Angeles

Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Bombing/Explosion
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Private Citizens & Property
Name of Entity Dr. George Ashley, former high school teacher and advisor at the Institute for Historical Review
Specific Description Dr. George Ashley, former high school teacher and advisor at the Institute for Historical Review
Nationality of Target United States
Additional Information
Hostages No
Ransom No
Property Damage Yes
Extent of Property Damage Minor (likely < $1 million)
Value of Property Damage $1,000.00
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Explosives/Bombs/Dynamite Pipe Bomb
Weapon Details
pipe bomb (its contents included the use of a propane canister)
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?No
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Additional Information The incident occurred at about 2:30am. Though the Jewish Defense League denied responsibility for the bombing, authorities suspect they may have been the perpetrators as George Ashley's house had been broken into and vandalized with slogans such a s "Never Again" and "No More Holocaust" in the past, and additionally, his home was similarly firebombed once before in May 1982 (198205270004), and he received many threatening phone calls over the prior three years (between 1982 and 1985) from Jewish extremists, sometimes even close to 50 calls per day, threatening to blow Ashley to pieces.
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Jewish Defense League (JDL) (suspected) No
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators Unknown
Number of Captured Perpetrators Unknown
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 0 Fatalities / 0 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 0
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 0
Total Number of Injured 0
Number of U.S. Injured 0
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
Sources
"FBI Analysis of Terrorist Incidents and Terrorist Related Activities in the United States: 1985," Terrorist Research and Analytical Center, Terrorism Section, Criminal Investigative Division, FBI, 1985.
The Associated Press, May 16, 1985.
"Holocaust Doubter Targeted," The Spokesman-Review, May 16, 1985.