For the fourth time in a bit over a month, Jewish centers nationwide received bomb threats. The FBI is investigating.
11 Jewish community centers received phoned-in bomb threats on Monday, the fourth round of threats in a bit over a month’s time.
This round’s targets were the JCCs in Birmingham, Alabama, Tampa, Florida, Chicago, the Greater St. Paul Area in Minnesota, Albuquerque, New Mexico, the Greater Buffalo area in New York, Cleveland, Ohio, Tulsa, Oklahoma, Nashville Tennessee, Houston, Texas, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Two separate locations were threatened in the Buffalo area.
This comes in the aftermath of three previous waves of bomb threats in January, resulting in a total of 69 incidents at 54 JCCs in 27 states and one Canadian province, according to numbers provided by the JCC Association of North America.
All bomb threats have proven to be hoaxes, and all JCCs threatened have returned to regular operations.
David Posner, director of strategic performance at JCC Association of North America, whose role involves advising local JCCs on security policies and practices, stated that “while we are relieved that all such threats have proven to be hoaxes and that not a single person was harmed, we are concerned about the anti-Semitism behind these threats, and the repetition of threats intended to interfere with day-to-day life.”
He said that the JCC Association is in ongoing contact with the FBI, which is investigating these threats, “to ensure the FBI has the most updated information. We hope to hear updates from the FBI on progress very soon.”
The FBI is reportedly encountering difficulties in tracing the source of the threats because of the advanced technology used by the perpetrators.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) stated it is “deeply disturbed” by the additional bomb threats.
“The threats themselves are alarming, disruptive, and must always been taken seriously,” the ADL stated.
Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL CEO, said, “We look to our political leaders at all levels to speak out against such threats directed against Jewish institutions, to make it clear that such actions are unacceptable, and to pledge that they will work with law enforcement officials to ensure that those responsible will be apprehended and punished to the full extent of the law.”
“Hatred and hate-motivated violence of any kind have no place in a country founded on the promise of individual freedom,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer stated, according to MSNBC. “The President has made it abundantly clear that these actions are unacceptable.”
Ivanka Trump, President Donald Trump’s Jewish daughter, tweeted that “America is a nation built on the principle of religious tolerance. We must protect our houses of worship & religious centers.”
By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News