ADL condemns ‘swatting’ incidents targeting synagogues across US

There have been 26 hoaxes across twelve states in recent weeks, mostly targeting synagogues that livestream their services.

By Dion J. Pierre, The Algemeiner

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) on Monday issued a statement addressing a series of swatting incidents that have targeted synagogues in recent weeks.

Swatting is a deadly hoax in which false bomb threats or other dangers are reported to local enforcement, prompting the deployment of special weapons and tactics (SWAT) forces who show up to the sight of the alleged danger heavily armed, clad in body armor, and ready to neutralize any potential threat.

According to a FOX affiliate based in the California Bay area, on Saturday police in Fremont evacuated members of Beth Torah Jewish Temple after, the outlet said,” they surrounded the premises and conducted a search of the building. The next day, an NBC affiliate reported, another hoax was pulled on Temple Beth Tikvah in Fullerton, a city just north of Anaheim.

The spate of incidents — 26 across twelve states, according to the ADL — that have occurred in recent weeks mostly struck synagogues that livestream their services and, in some cases, caused interruptions of prayer.

“For the fourth weekend in a row, ADL has worked with law enforcement and community partners to mitigate the disruption to Jewish prayer services posed by a group of online trolls who swat and call in fake bomb threats,” ADL chief executive officer Jonathan Greenblatt said on Saturday in a press release. “The trolls use highly antisemitic language in these calls and appear to have targeted at least 26 synagogues and two ADL offices in 12 states over this time period.”

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The ADL Center on Extremism is working with federal authorities to locate the person or persons responsible for the hoaxes.