Dozens of Jewish Centers Hit by 'Telephone Terrorism'

At least 27 centers across the country evacuated after hoax bomb threats
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 19, 2017 12:15 AM CST
27 Jewish Centers Evacuated After Hoax Bomb Threats
Police officers stand by as adults and children return to the St. Louis Jewish Community Center after canine units cleared the building.   (Laurie Skrivan/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)

Jewish centers across America were evacuated Wednesday after what security analysts say was an unprecedented number of threats. The FBI and the Justice Department say they're investigating the bomb threats phoned in to at least 27 Jewish community centers in 17 states, Reuters reports. Wednesday's threats follow a wave of bomb threats made to 16 Jewish centers in nine states on Jan. 9, and the FBI says that in both cases, the suspect or suspects disguised their voices and used an automated robo-call system for some, but not all, of the calls. Authorities say no bombs were found in any of the threatened locations.

Paul Goldenberg of Secure Community Network, which advises Jewish institutions in the US, tells the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that there were 30 threats and that in most cases, the caller was a woman who hung up after issuing a brief threat. Mark Freedman, executive director of the Jewish Federation of Nashville and Middle Tennessee, tells the JTA that the community won't be intimidated by "telephone terrorism." "Clearly it's a pattern of intimidation, and it’s likely to continue in the current atmosphere that we have in this country, where hate groups feel that they can come after good-standing members of the community," he says. (Last month, a white supremacist website called for action against Jews in a Montana town.)

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