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While its supporters are trying to travel to Iran, the leader of the “Jewish Taliban” appears before the American court

Reuters Jorge Lopez

The leader of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish “immaculate heart” sect was unable to join his supporters in efforts to travel to Iran, due to his trial in the United States for involvement in the kidnapping of two children.

The Jewish News Agency, JTA, confirmed yesterday that a New York state court is trying the leader of the anti-Zionist Hasidic sect, Nachman Hellbrance, and eight other accused of its supporters in a case dating back to 2018, when a 14-year-old girl and her 12-year-old brother were kidnapped from their mother in the American town of Woodbridge. Forced to Mexico.

And US law enforcement discovered the two kidnapped children near the capital, Mexico, three weeks after their disappearance, and local authorities arrested three men, including Hellbrans (who is the son of the founder of the “immaculate heart”).

According to judicial files, one of these men was considered the “husband” of the kidnapped girl within the extremist sect, and the kidnapping of the two children came in an effort to return them to the sect after their father had taken them out.

Other suspects were arrested in the resounding case later, including three brothers of “immaculate heart” supporters who were detained by the Guatemalan authorities earlier this year.

The JTA indicated that last Wednesday, the US Prosecution completed providing evidence and witness confessions in the case, which means the beginning of a new stage in the trial, during which the lawyer of the arrested supporters of the “pure heart” will present their evidence.

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The Immaculate Heart sect was founded in Jerusalem in the eighties of the last century, and later moved to Canada and then to Guatemala in 2014.

This sect has a bad reputation and is known as the “Jewish Taliban” because of the extremely strict rules imposed on its members, especially women and children.

This sect attracted media attention earlier this year, as the Guatemalan authorities arrested groups of its supporters when they tried to go to Iraqi Kurdistan and then to Iran.

According to documents filed with a US federal court in 2019, the leadership of the Immaculate Heart requested political asylum in Iran in 2018 and declared its allegiance to Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei.

Source: JTA + “The Times of Israel”