Jewish groups across the US receive bomb threats, forcing evacuations

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Numerous Jewish community centers on the east coast received anonymous bomb threats via phone on Monday, forcing evacuations and police responses.

According to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, the Secure Community Network, a group that works to coordinate security efforts in the Jewish community with the Jewish Federations of North America, some of the calls were prerecorded while others were live, and likely came from the same telephone number. NBC reported threats were made to facilities as far apart as New Jersey, Florida, Maryland, Tennessee and South Carolina. In a statement, the Anti-Defamation League said threats were also received in Delaware.


Facilities across the county were evacuated, and authorities did not discover any explosive devices. Jewish schools in London also received bomb threats, though it was not clear whether the incidents are connected.

"In the Northeast it's 20 degrees outside and these individuals are doing everything they can to disrupt who we are and what we do," SCN's Paul Goldenberg told the JTA.

According to ADL associate director of law enforcement outreach and communal security Elise M. Jarvis, the total number of threats is unclear, but the ADL had confirmed roughly a dozen.

Following bomb threats "in the U.S. so far nothing has turned up, and they appear to not be credible," Jarvis told Mic. "They need to be taken extremely seriously, [but] at the same time these are most often a tactic used to disrupt operations and scare the community."

The Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit which tracks hate groups throughout the country, believes there is a link between a recorded rise in hate crimes and threats against minority groups following the Nov. 8 presidential elections and the ascent of President-elect Donald Trump. Trump struck a racially hostile tone throughout the campaign season, and on several occasions, passed on falsified neo-Nazi statistics or anti-Semitic memes using his Twitter account. One of his chief advisers, former Breitbart chief executive Stephen Bannon, bragged about ties between his site and the white nationalist alt-right, and has been accused of anti-Semitism.

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Tom McKay

Tom is a staff writer at Mic, covering national politics, media, policing and the war on drugs. He is based in New York and can be reached at tmckay@mic.com.

MORE FROM

Charleena Lyles was a "powerful lady" — until she faced Seattle's flawed criminal justice system

Like Charleena Lyles, women who experience mental health instabilities have been more likely than men to encounter a criminal justice system that is ill-equipped to treat them.

NFL players donate $20,000 to youth football team that was punished for national anthem protest

"We wanted to make sure that we sent those kids the message that it's OK to stand up for what you believe in," Malcolm Jenkins said.

10 things you might have recently missed in the movement for social justice

From Charleena Lyles and Nabra Hassanen to acquittals and vigils, the last few days haven't been easy to keep up with.

Judge declares mistrial in retrial of officer who fatally shot Samuel DuBose

The jury spent five days deliberating Ray Tensing's fate.

University of Missouri to revoke Bill Cosby's honorary degree

The president of Mizzou said Cosby's actions were not in line with the university's core beliefs.

The Movement for Black Lives responds to recent claims of a fractured coalition

"We make no assumptions that everyone and everything within our movement is perfect — far from it," organizers said.

Charleena Lyles was a "powerful lady" — until she faced Seattle's flawed criminal justice system

Like Charleena Lyles, women who experience mental health instabilities have been more likely than men to encounter a criminal justice system that is ill-equipped to treat them.

NFL players donate $20,000 to youth football team that was punished for national anthem protest

"We wanted to make sure that we sent those kids the message that it's OK to stand up for what you believe in," Malcolm Jenkins said.

10 things you might have recently missed in the movement for social justice

From Charleena Lyles and Nabra Hassanen to acquittals and vigils, the last few days haven't been easy to keep up with.

Judge declares mistrial in retrial of officer who fatally shot Samuel DuBose

The jury spent five days deliberating Ray Tensing's fate.

University of Missouri to revoke Bill Cosby's honorary degree

The president of Mizzou said Cosby's actions were not in line with the university's core beliefs.

The Movement for Black Lives responds to recent claims of a fractured coalition

"We make no assumptions that everyone and everything within our movement is perfect — far from it," organizers said.