FBI to probe bomb threats against JCCs

FBI opens probe following second wave of false telephone bomb threats against JCCs across the United States.

Ben Ariel ,

FBI police car (illustration)
FBI police car (illustration)

The FBI said on Wednesday it would probe the wave of false telephone bomb threats against Jewish community centers across the United States.

The announcement came after 27 JCCs in 17 U.S. states reported receiving bomb threats, a week after 16 Jewish community centers in nine states received similar threats.

The FBI and the Justice Department are investigating possible civil rights violations in connection with threats, the FBI said in a statement quoted by the Reuters news agency.

"The FBI will collect all available facts and evidence, and will ensure this matter is investigated in a fair, thorough, and impartial manner," the statement added.

The JCC Association of North America said on Wednesday that the threatened organizations were working with police and many had resumed operations after no bombs were found nor injuries reported, as was the case after the earlier series of threats on January 9.

No one claimed responsibility for the calls on Wednesday nor nine days ago. The FBI has not named any suspects nor described a likely motive, noted Reuters.

It was not immediately clear if there was any connection between centers that received calls on January 9 and those that received them on Wednesday.

"While we're extremely proud of our JCCs for professionally handling yet another threatening situation, we are concerned about the anti-Semitism behind these threats," said David Posner, director of strategic performance at the association, in a statement.

“JCC Association’s first priority is safety and supporting Jewish community centers and their members across the continent, so that they can fulfill their missions as inclusive, engaging community gathering places and safe spaces,” he added.