National News

FBI Says Man Questioned After NJ Synagogues Targeted With ‘Credible’ Threat

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PROSPECT HEIGHTS — The FBI identified a person they said was responsible for wide-scale threats targeting New Jersey synagogues. 

After authorities spoke with the individual, who has not been identified, the FBI released a statement Friday afternoon saying the person “no longer poses a danger to the community.”

NBC News New York reported that a man, while under questioning by law enforcement, told them he had anger towards the Jewish people but wouldn’t actually hurt them because he doesn’t want to get in trouble. 

Friday morning, Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey thanked state and federal law agencies for “mitigating the immediate threat to our Jewish synagogues.” 

The FBI asked New Jersey synagogues to stay on high alert yesterday after it received “credible” information about the threats.

“The FBI has received credible information of a broad threat to synagogues in New Jersey,” FBI Newark said in a Nov. 3 social media post. “We ask at this time that you take all security precautions to protect your community and facility. We will share more information as soon as we can. Stay alert.” 

“The FBI takes all threats seriously, and we are working with our law enforcement partners actively investigating this threat,” the organization said in a follow-up post. “We are also engaged with our faith-based partners in the affected communities.” 

In May 2021, leading U.S. bishops spoke out against a rise in antisemitic incidents nationwide. 

“We cannot remain silent when we witness our brothers and sisters suffering on account of being Jewish, and we will never tire of our commitment to decry every form of hatred, especially those formed in contempt of faith,” Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles, the USCCB president, said in a joint statement with Bishop David Talley of Memphis, chair of the USCCB Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs. 

The Anti-Defamation League has reported 56 antisemitic incidents in New Jersey this year. Nationwide, the organization has reported 1,450 incidents. 

Temple Beth-El in Jersey City sent out a message to the community saying that they are aware of the situation and have taken “proactive and immediate measures.” 

According to the message, the synagogue has been in touch with local, county, and state authorities about implementing safety measures. 

The notice expressed “disgust” at the threats and nationwide antisemitic behavior. 

“While we are disgusted with these threats and the national increase in antisemitic behavior, know that we have a wide network of people and officials who are taking this and protecting us very seriously,” the statement read. “It is at times like these that being in our Jewish community is all the more important, to both strengthen one another and show our strength and resilience.”