Security alert for Jewish community in San Antonio, Texas lifted

The Jewish Federation of San Antonio said the FBI explained there was no longer a "known imminent threat," but recommends staying vigilant.

FBI headquarters building is seen in Washington, U.S., December 7, 2018 (photo credit: YURI GRIPAS/REUTERS)
FBI headquarters building is seen in Washington, U.S., December 7, 2018
(photo credit: YURI GRIPAS/REUTERS)

A security alert issued for the Jewish community in San Antonio, Texas, was lifted after the FBI informed the Jewish Federation of San Antonio that there is no longer a "known imminent threat," the federation announced on Facebook late Friday night.

However, while the federation was pleased to announce that there was no longer an urgent concern, it still recommends staying vigilant and aware of one's surroundings at all time.

The federation further expressed thanks to local and national law enforcement partners, along with those at the Anti-Defamation League and Secure Community Network, for "their diligence, expertise, and professionalism."

Background

Earlier Friday, the community was put on high alert following a credible threat identified by the FBI.

In a Facebook post shared by the Jewish Federation of San Antonio, the organization stated that they had received information from the FBI "identifying a potential threat to an unconfirmed Jewish community facility in the San Antonio area."

"In an abundance of caution, we are taking all appropriate steps to ensure the safety of the community."

Jewish Federation of San Antonio

"In an abundance of caution, we are taking all appropriate steps to ensure the safety of the community," the organization stated. "After communicating with all local synagogues and organizations, it was recommended that all formal Jewish gatherings be suspended until further notice."

Security personnel across all synagogues in the area have been notified and are operating at the highest alert level.

 Temple Beth-El, San Antonio, Texas (credit: Wikimedia Commons) Temple Beth-El, San Antonio, Texas (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

In response to the security threat, Temple Beth-El announced that it would be canceling all services, both in person and online.

"We apologize for the short notice and the change to our traditional worship program," wrote synagogue officials in a post on Facebook. "We appreciate your understanding the abundance of caution we've taken to care for our precious community."

SCN statement

The Secure Community Network (SCN), the official safety and security organization of the Jewish community in North America, released a statement following reports on alert in San Antonio Texas.

"On 09 July 2022, both the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the United States Department of Homeland Security released statements indicating that an online threat made by an individual possibly intent on carrying out an attack on a synagogue in Texas, potentially in the near future, remains under investigation," an SCN release stated.

"SCN published an initial Situation Report about this potential threat on 07 July. As of this time, the FBI does not currently have any assessment as to the veracity of the threat but is working to obtain additional information. SCN has been working closely with the FBI, as well as other local, state, and federal law enforcement as well as community security partners related to this threat."

SCN added that "we will provide relevant updates, as necessary. As this remains an active investigation, out of an abundance of caution, we encourage community organizations to remain vigilant and report any suspicious persons and/or activity to local law enforcement immediately."

Stop Antisemitism Movement executive director Liora Rez commented on Twitter: "Last weekend residents near the Northside of San Antonio reported receiving these antisemitic, homophobic fliers from Jon Minadeo II’s group - Goyim Defense League."

Rez added that “Today, Jewish life in San Antonio was shut down based on warnings from the FBI prompting alerts throughout the Jewish community to avoid gathering in synagogue on the Sabbath or at any local Jewish facility.

"As history has shown us, what starts with hateful words nearly always ends in tragedy," she continued. "We are grateful that the FBI has since determined that there is no longer a 'known imminent threat' for this community and we continue to urge vigilance during this time of heightened antisemitism across the United States."

This is a developing story.

Zvika Klein contributed to this report.