Wave of threats at Jewish centers across the US sends police scrambling

By REUTERS
March 13, 2017 10:58

Sunday's threats brought the total this year to 128 incidents at 87 community centers.

1 minute read.



Jewish Community Center Las Vegas

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department K-9 officers search the Jewish Community Center of Southern Nevada after an employee received a suspicious phone call that led about 10 people to evacuate the building on February 27, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. . (photo credit:ETHAN MILLER / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP)

Jewish community centers and synagogues across the United States received another series of phoned-in threats Sunday, prompting another round of police response. No suspicious items were found.

In Brighton, New York, police checked and cleared a Jewish community center, located outside of Rochester. It wasn't the first threat to the community they had responded to in recent weeks.

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"We do believe that this is part of, as I mentioned on Tuesday, a larger picture - a national trend. That's why I did mention that the FBI was involved. They are assisting us. The state police has taken a lead role from a New York state perspective," Brighton Police Chief Mark Henderson said.

Bomb threats were received on Sunday by Jewish community centers in Indiana, Texas, New York, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Vancouver, British Columbia, the Jewish Community Center Association of North America said. Sunday's threats brought the total this year to 128 incidents at 87 community centers, the association said. So far, all have been hoaxes.

The American incidents prompted all 100 US senators last week to ask the federal government to help Jewish groups enhance security.
Wave of bomb threats called to Jewish commmunity centers across the US , possible antisemitism(credit: REUTERS)

More than 140 Jewish community center leaders also wrote to US Attorney General Jeff Sessions expressing frustration with the investigation.

US President Donald Trump has denounced the anti-Semitic incidents, notably at the start of his address to Congress on February 28. After a wave of bomb threats last Tuesday, the Trump administration denounced them "in the strongest terms," White House spokesman Sean Spicer said, promising to search for ways to stop them.


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