Yesterday we reported on the bomb threats faced by Jewish Community Centers across the United States - 16 incidents in six different states. Now, The Times of Israel's Ben Sales reports that the FBI and Department of Homeland Security will be working with the Jewish communities in the U.S. to heighten security in the wake of the threats:
On Wednesday, officials from the FBI and Homeland Security will conduct a conference call with US Jewish communal leaders to discuss Monday’s incidents, what they stem from and how to craft protocols to handle such incidents in the future. Some communities already receive federal grants to provide for security.
The bomb threats, none of which appear credible, hit JCCs up and down the East Coast, in addition to two in the United Kingdom, prompting evacuations of buildings and campuses. According to Jewish communal security officials, the bomb threats came both from robocalls and from live telephone calls. It remains unclear whether one person or group was behind all the threats.
The US JCCs affected ranged from one in northern New Jersey to several in the Southeast — including in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. In addition, JCCs in Maryland, Delaware, Tennessee and Pennsylvania received threats. Several Jewish institutions also received bomb threats last week.
The simultaneous threats were unprecedented, according to Paul Goldenberg, the director of the Secure Community Network, a group affiliated with the Jewish Federations of North America that coordinates security for the Jewish community.
“We’re in a completely different world now than we were a couple years ago,” Goldenberg told JTA. “What is unprecedented is in the shortest period of time we received a substantial number of bomb threats. These offenders are leveraging technology to intimidate and/or terrorize communities...”