Montgomery County police are investigating the distribution of anti-Semitic flyers in Silver Spring that allegedly included conspiracy theories related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Officers found literature “containing Anti-Semitic language” over the weekend in the 1900 block of Brisbane Street, police said in a press release.
Someone reportedly threw fliers from the window of a Volkswagen Jetta. Multiple fliers were found in the Forest Estate neighborhood, police said.
Police did not elaborate on the content of the flyers. A police spokesperson could not be reached for comment.
On Monday, The Washington Post reported that residents said the flyers included an image of a syringe, and a QR code for a website promoting Holocaust denial and support for Adolf Hitler.
The Anti Defamation League (ADL) posted on its website Monday that fliers were distributed in multiple states by members of the Goyim Defense League, an organization that promotes Jewish conspiracy theories.
Some of the flyers stated that “every single aspect of the Covid agenda is Jewish,” although it’s not clear if those specific flyers were distributed in Maryland.
ADL Assistant Regional Director Victoria DeSimone confirmed to Bethesda Beat in an email Tuesday that the fliers found in Silver Spring are among those that the conspiracy group distributed around the country over the weekend.
The Montgomery County Council issued a statement on Tuesday condemning the anti-Semitic literature, saying “the increase in antisemitic activities spreading COVID-19 disinformation that were seen in our region this weekend, mirroring similar activities seen across the nation, has left many members in our community feeling unsafe for themselves and their loved ones.”
“The Council stands in solidarity with our Jewish community and condemns all acts of hate and ethnic or religious bigotry aimed at Jewish residents,” the council said in the statement. “Furthermore, the Council condemns the spread of COVID-19 disinformation in all its forms, and the use of erroneous connections to ethnic, religious and other groups to fuel abhorrently racist agendas.”
ADL Deputy Regional Director Meredith Weisel thanked the council for its condemnation.
“We commend the Montgomery County Council for sending a strong and clear statement that antisemitism and other acts of hatred against the Jewish community have no place in Montgomery County,” she wrote in a statement.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) also denounced the literature, which it said was distributed in Boise, Idaho, around the same time it was distributed in Silver Spring.
“We stand with the Jewish community in Maryland as they are targeted by antisemitic hate and urge all community leaders to speak out against the increasing racist actions impacting every minority community,” CAIR Maryland Director Zainab Chaudry said in a statement.
CAIR said similar literature was distributed in California and North Carolina on Dec. 19.
Dan Schere can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org