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Man with history of mental illness convicted of threatening San Francisco synagogue

A man who made criminal threats to a synagogue last year has been convicted by a jury, the San Francisco District Attorney's Office said Monday.

Anatoly Smolkin, 39, was convicted after he threatened to destroy Temple Emanu-El in the Inner Richmond in April 2022.

At around noon on that day, Smolkin walked up to the front entrance of Temple Emanu-Eland and threatened to blow it up and kill everyone there.

On-site security notified authorities, and Smolkin was arrested without incident by the San Francisco Police Department.

Anatoly Smolkin
Anatoly Smolkin Berkeley Police Department

Smolkin is a former attorney with a history of mental illness and legal troubles, according to published reports. Berkeleyside reported Smolkin was arrested in August 2021 after interrupting services at a Berkeley synagogue with threats of violence. In October 2021, Smolkin was arrested following repeated threats against San Francisco's Congregation Beth Sholom, according to the Jewish News of Northern California.

In 2012, Smolkin was fired from a tech start-up in San Francisco and allegedly began stalking his former colleagues. A former attorney, Smolkin was disbarred in 2017 because of a criminal conviction.  

Smolkin faces up to six years in state prison. His sentencing is scheduled for August 28. 

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