ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Bomb threats were called in to 14 Jewish community centers across the United States and Canada on Tuesday, including one in Albuquerque, that prompted an evacuation and a bomb squad investigation.
Jewish Community Center officials in Albuquerque evacuated a total of about 50 people who were in the building and the swimming pool, along with around 100 children who were in the early childhood center, executive director David Simon said.
In Albuquerque and other locations across the country, all the threats were false alarms. No bombs were found at any of the centers.
But the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice are investigating the disturbing trend for “possible civil rights violations,” according to Frank Fisher, a spokesman for the FBI’s Albuquerque office.
Simon said the center refuses to be intimidated by the calls.
“I view them as cowardly threats. They’re designed to sow fear and disrupt, and we are not giving in to the fear,” he said. “We’re just going to be recommitted to our mission to serve this community.”
Tuesday’s false alarms weren’t the first time this has happened at JCCs across the United States.
Bomb threat calls were put out to 27 JCCs across the country Jan. 18, and 16 centers were targeted Jan. 9, according to David Posner, a director at the JCC Association of North America.
All of them have been false alarms, but both the JCC Association of North America and the Anti-Defamation League are urging caution and are working with law enforcement.
Todd Gutnick, a national spokesman for the Anti-Defamation League, said the organization believes some of the calls are automated.Read More...
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