Fri | Jan 19, 2018

Jewish centers in several states targeted with bomb threats

Published:Tuesday | January 10, 2017 | 12:00 AM
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Bomb threats targeted Jewish community centres in several states, but it wasn't immediately clear whether the threats were linked, authorities said yesterday.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives spokeswoman Amanda Hils said in an email that the agency was aware of the threats and its field divisions were ready to assist state and local law enforcement.

Police said no explosives were found after bomb threats were received at the Miami Beach Jewish Community Center and the Jewish Community Alliance of Jacksonville.

A Miami-Dade Police bomb squad was dispatched to the Alper Jewish Community Center, where staff evacuated hundreds of children "as an abundance of caution" after a bomb threat was called in, said Miami-Dade Police Detective Alvaro Zabaleta.

"As a community, we must always be vigilant when it comes to security," the Greater Miami Jewish Federation's director of community security, Brenda Moxley, said in an email.

In Nashville, Tennessee, police responded to the Gordon Jewish Community Center after a security guard received a bomb threat over the phone.

No explosives were found, but 225 people in the building and an adjacent school were evacuated, said Mark Freedman, executive director of the Jewish Federation of Nashville and Middle Tennessee.

In Delaware, the Siegel Jewish Community Center in Wilmington was evacuated after a bomb threat was called in.

Buildings were evacuated, and authorities investigated similar threats in Tenafly, New Jersey; Columbia, South Carolina; and Rockville, Maryland.

Last week, bomb threats targeted two Jewish centres in central Florida and two Jewish preschools in Tampa.