Jewish centers across US get more threats

Kai Liu
By Kai Liu
March 8, 2017News

The Anti-Defamation League and several Jewish community centers across the country were targets of a new round of bomb threats Tuesday, adding to the scores they have been plagued with since January.

Federal officials have been investigating more than 120 threats against Jewish organizations in three dozen states and a rash of vandalism at Jewish cemeteries since Jan. 9. Over the course of Monday evening and Tuesday, there were eight emailed or phoned-in bomb threats in six states plus Ontario, the JCC Association of North America said.

Also Tuesday, two suburban Jewish community centers in upstate New York were shut down when someone phoned in bomb threats, authorities said. The Jewish Community Center in the Milwaukee suburb of Whitefish Bay was closed for almost two hours. A Jewish community center in Portland, Oregon, received a bomb threat, too.

In Providence, Rhode Island, 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 said. 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.

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 that his 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.


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