The Colorado synagogue that was the target of an alleged bombing plot on Tuesday announced plans to add surveillance cameras to enhance security that was already tightened in response to the deadly Pittsburgh synagogue attack last year.
The cameras will help keep watch on activity outside the synagogue in Pueblo and will hopefully be something that can be monitored remotely by its members through their phones, Michael Atlas-Acuña, president of the board of directors of Temple Emanuel in Pueblo, said Tuesday, according to The Associated Press.
“We’re not going to be threatened by this,” he said, referring to the alleged plot by 27-year-old Richard Holzer. He was arrested last week after the FBI said he accepted what turned out to be phoney explosives from undercover agents he had been talking to about the plan.
Temple Emanuel started locking its doors during services and paying an armed guard to stand watch since the deadly attack on the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh in October 2018.
After that attack, some members who wanted to assure Atlas-Acuña revealed that they been carrying guns to the synagogue before and would continue to do so. There is a sign posted at the synagogue warning that it is not a gun-free zone.
Atlas-Acuña said he is not armed himself but is comforted that others would be prepared to react if someone fired on congregants.
Holzer had professed to be a former member of the Ku Klux Klan and said he wished the Holocaust “really did happen.” He also said he had a cook at the synagogue put arsenic in the building’s water pipes and planned to use pipe bombs and dynamite.
The Orthodox Union, representing hundreds of synagogues across the US, on Tuesday commended the FBI and other law enforcement agencies for foiling the plot to blow up Temple Emanuel.
“We are extremely grateful to law enforcement for stopping what could have been yet another horrific and deadly anti-Semitic attack on a synagogue,” said Orthodox Union President Moishe Bane.
“This latest plot reminds us all that we must be vigilant in safeguarding our synagogues,” said Orthodox Union Executive Vice President Allen Fagin. “The Orthodox Union has been working for 15 years to strengthen security at US synagogues, Jewish day schools, as well as other houses of worship and nonprofits at risk of terrorist attacks through the federal Nonprofit Security Grant Program we helped create in 2005. We will continue to advocate for the safety and security of all citizens at risk.”