New York Governor Warns Against ‘Contagion of Hate’ as Multiple JCCs Receive Anonymous Bomb Threats
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo warned that Americans were facing a “contagion of hate” as law enforcement officials disclosed that anonymous bomb threats were made to 18 Jewish community centers across his state on Sunday.
The threats were sent by email on Sunday morning to the 18 centers and were believed to be part of a wider series made against JCCs nationally.
Each of the threats was emailed to individuals separately, said Michael Kopy, the state’s director of emergency management. It was unclear if certain individuals were being targeted, Kopy said.
“It’s probably best not to discuss why these people were selected and let the investigators work on that right now,” Kopy told USA Today.
More than 100 people were evacuated from the JCC in Albany as a precaution on Sunday morning. State and Albany City Police swept the building.
No bomb was found but the facility remained closed afterward.
Cuomo arrived on scene about an hour following the first report of the threat.
“These types of situations are so ugly and so unfortunate. What’s worse is we’re seeing more and more of them,” the governor said.
Pointing out that 42 antisemitic incidents had been recorded in New York in recent months, Cuomo added that a strategy of “terror” was at work.
“You have your children in a class in the building and they say there is a bomb threat — that is terror,” he said.
Doron Krakow — president and CEO of JCC Association of North America — said in a statement that security was the top concern of his organization.
“Our first priority is the safety of all JCCs and JCC program participants and visitors,” Krakow said on Sunday. “Having faced similar threats in 2017, our JCCs have protocols in place to respond to such scenarios. We are grateful for the immediate and ongoing response from law enforcement and we will continue to work with the Secure Community Network and our JCCs to ensure participants’ safety as law enforcement continues its efforts to bring those responsible to justice.”