Anti-Defamation League, Jewish Centers Receive More Threats

Mar 8, 2017

NEW YORK (AP & WXXI) - The Anti-Defamation League and several Jewish community centers across the country got a new round of bomb threats Tuesday, prompting a school in Chicago to evacuate and adding to the scores they have been plagued with since January.

The Jewish Community Center is seen in Tarrytown, N.Y.
Credit AP Photo/Seth Wenig

 

The JCC Association of North America said several Jewish community centers received email or phone threats overnight and early Tuesday but didn't specify how many. 

Two suburban Jewish community centers in upstate New York were shut down when someone phoned in bomb threats, authorities said. That includes the Jewish Community Center in Brighton which was shut down after a threat in the early morning. Police have not yet specified how that threat was received. The JCC in Brighton reopened at 10 a.m. after the complex was swept by a bomb-sniffing dog and police.

The Brighton Police Chief, Mark Henderson told WXXI News he was told that the FBI is looking at the possibility that the Brighton threat and other incidents might be related.

The Jewish Community Center in the Milwaukee suburb of Whitefish Bay was closed for almost two hours. 

In Providence, Rhode Island, police said an administrator at the Jewish Community Day School, attached to a synagogue, received a threat Tuesday morning alleging there was a shooter with an assault rifle on the roof of the building. Police and a K-9 team swept the building; no one was found. 

Chicago Jewish Day School on the city's north side was evacuated for a few hours while police investigated. 

In New York, Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said there were five threats made, including to the Anti-Defamation League, which also received threats to offices in Atlanta, Boston and Washington, D.C. and in Oregon, Wisconsin, Illinois, Florida, Maryland and Toronto. 

``This is a moment in time, in history, where forces of hate have been unleashed,'' New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a Jewish Community Center on Staten Island that had received threats. ``It is exceedingly unsettling.'' 

Federal officials have been investigating more than 120 threats against Jewish organizations in three dozen states since Jan. 9 and a rash of vandalism at Jewish cemeteries. 

On Friday, Missouri resident Juan Thompson was arrested on a cyberstalking charge and accused of making at least eight of the threats nationwide, including one to the ADL. Authorities said Thompson was trying to harass and frame his ex-girlfriend by pinning the threats on her. 

A criminal complaint said Thompson started making threats Jan. 28. He claimed on Twitter the ex-girlfriend was behind the calls.  Thompson is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday in St. Louis for a hearing to determine if he should remain detained pending trial. 

Authorities are looking for other suspects in the threats.