WASHINGTON – US security officials spoke to American Jewish leaders following
Wednesday’s bombing of Israeli tourists in Bulgaria to reassure them that US
Jewry faces no heightened threat at this time.
Representatives from the
FBI, White House and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) spoke with nearly 300
Jewish leaders from across the country in a conference call the day after the
bombing whose details were publicized Friday.
“We have no specific
credible intelligence pointing to any threat in the United States,” DHS
principal deputy counterterrorism coordinator John Cohen said on the call,
according to a release sent out by the Jewish Federations of North America. JFNA
hosted the call along with the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish
However, Cohen cautioned, “We are urging members of the
Jewish community in the United States to remain aware of their
Additionally, the release noted, the FBI continues to warn
of Iranian and Hezbollah terror cells targeting travelers outside the United
States and calls for vigilance while abroad.
US President Barack Obama
continued his outreach concerning the bus bombing on Friday with a call to
Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov.
Obama expressed his condolences
for the victims, which included five Israeli tourists and their driver, a
He also condemned the “barbaric attack,” according to
a White House statement, and expressed support for the ongoing investigation,
sentiments he conveyed to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu during their phone
conversation on Wednesday.
In addition, the leaders discussed “the strong
partnership and excellent counterterrorism cooperation between the United States
and Bulgaria,” according to the statement. Obama also praised Bulgaria’s
“important contributions” to NATO.
Bulgaria has been somewhat on the
defensive following the bombing, saying it did not have advance warning from the
Mossad of the likelihood of a terror attack, despite having held a meeting with
the Israeli spy agency recently. The country is pushing back against the notion
that a homegrown terror cell carried out the operation.