Multiple bomb threats trigger evacuations of Jewish centers in a dozen states
The Levite Jewish Community center in Birmingham, Alabama was emptied on Monday morning. The center was also targeted last week.
The David Posnack Jewish Day School in Broward County, Florida was reportedly cleared following a bomb threat at 9:30 am.
Three Jewish Community Centers (JCC) in Stated Island, New York was evacuated as well as the JCC in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and JCCs in Providence, Rhode Island.
Just before noon, New York Representative Nita Lowey tweeted that a bomb threat had been made against the JCC in Tarrytown, New York.
The Jewish Federation of South Jersey tweeted that people had been moved from the building and police had arrived.
Reports indicate that Jewish centers in Delaware, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, South Carolina are also being vacated.
In Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, officials say students and staff were ushered from the JCC due to a bomb threat.
“Any anti-Semitic act or act of intimidation aimed at Jewish institutions and people in Pennsylvania is truly reprehensible and we must find those responsible and hold them accountable. This is not who we are as Americans or Pennsylvanians,” said Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, according to WCBS.
“We will not take these threats and acts lightly and I have asked the Pennsylvania State Police and Office of Homeland Security to offer their full resources towards protecting these institutions and finding those responsible.”
Police were investigating Monday’s threats and all centers were declared safe and reopened after authorities did not find explosive devices, according to the Huffington Post.
The FBI and Department of Justice, meanwhile, have launched investigations into the series of bomb threats.
“The FBI and the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division are investigating possible civil rights violations in connection with threats to Jewish Community Centers across the country. The FBI will collect all available facts and evidence, and will ensure this matter is investigated in a fair, thorough, and impartial manner,” said Carrie Adamowski, public affairs specialist for the FBI office in Philadelphia, according to WCBS.
It is the fifth wave of such bomb threats in less than two months. Last Monday, at least 10 Jewish centers in five states were targeted with bomb warnings on the same day leading to evacuations.
The Anti-Defamation League received a bomb threat at its national headquarters in New York.
“After a careful investigation and cooperation with law enforcement, it has been determined that the threat was not credible,” the ADL stated in a press release.
The multiple bomb threats come just a day after over 500 gravestones were found damaged on Sunday in a Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia.
The incident in Mt. Carmel Jewish cemetery itself comes less than a week after hundreds of Jewish graves were desecrated St. Louis in what many see as a continuation of anti-Jewish incidents, including numerous bombs scares at Jewish centers.