FBI says it has credible information on ‘broad threat’ to New Jersey synagogues

The FBI said Thursday it had received credible information about a “broad” threat to synagogues in New Jersey.

The FBI office in Newark released a statement urging synagogues to “take every safety precaution to protect your community and facilities.”

In a Tweeterthe agency said it would “share more information as soon as possible” and asked residents to remain vigilant.

The alert was issued after authorities uncovered an online threat directed largely at New Jersey synagogues, a law enforcement official said. The post, however, did not target any specific synagogue by name, the official said. The official could not publicly discuss details of the investigation and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

More specific details were not released and a message was left with the FBI in Newark.

In a Tweeterthe New York Police Department said it is aware of the threats and is working with the Joint Terrorism Task Force and the FBI “to ensure the safety and well-being of each area that encompasses our Jewish citizens and our synagogues here in New York and the tri-state area.”

The American Jewish Committee said it was “deeply alarmed” by the FBI reports.

“Our thoughts are with the local Jewish community at this time. We will continue to monitor the situation as it develops,” AJC said. tweeted.

In Jersey City, Mayor Steven Fulop said police would be stationed at the city’s seven synagogues and foot patrols would be added to the wider Jewish community. In 2019, two assailants motivated by anti-Jewish hatred killed three people at a Jersey City kosher market, along with a police officer.

Rifle-wielding police officers guarded a synagogue a town down the road in Hoboken, where the director of public safety also announced increased patrols in Jewish communities.

Five years ago, two New Jersey men were sentenced to 35 years in prison after being found guilty of a series of attacks in 2012, including the burning down of two synagogues. They also threw a Molotov cocktail into a rabbi’s house as he slept with his wife and children.

Democratic Rep. Josh Gottheimer, whose district encompasses part of the northern New Jersey area affected by the attacks, said in a statement Thursday that Kanye West’s recent comments and the social media post shared by the star of NBA Kyrie Irving contributed to the problem.

“I am deeply concerned and outraged by today’s alert from the FBI,” Gottheimer said. “This is coming after years of anti-Semitic comments from public figures, including, most recently, Kanye West, Kyrie Irving and others,” he said.

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