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November 3, 2022 2:51 pm

FBI Issues Alert of ‘Credible’ Threat to New Jersey Synagogues

avatar by Andrew Bernard

FBI agents. Photo: Wiki Commons.

The Newark, New Jersey, field office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on Thursday afternoon issued an alert that it has received credible information of a “broad threat” to synagogues in New Jersey.

“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 tweeted. “We are taking a proactive measure with this warning while investigative processes are carried out.”

The tweets did not specify the nature of the threat or the extent of the measures underway.

The FBI encouraged calls to the police in case of emergency.

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New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said that in response to the threat that he was working with law enforcement “to ensure that all houses of worship are protected,” and that he was in contact with the New Jersey Attorney General, the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, and the local office of the FBI.

A public affairs officer for the FBI’s Newark office told The Algemeiner that the warning was issued “out of an abundance of caution and to be proactive,” but did not elaborate on the nature or timing of the threat, or any specific locations to be avoided.

In April, the Anti-Defamation League announced that antisemitic incidents in the previous year had reached a historic high. The ADL’s audit recorded 2,717 antisemitic incidents in 2021, a 34 percent increase on the antisemitic outrages tabulated by the civil rights organization in 2020.

The New Jersey Attorney General in its 2022 annual report on ‘bias incidents’ a crime of intimidation “motivated by a victim’s perceived or actual race, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion,” or other identity-based characteristics – noted that anti-Jewish bias was the motivation in 15% of all such incidents in the previous year. The 347 reported anti-Jewish bias incidents in New Jersey in 2022 represented a 16% increase in the total number of such incidents from the previous year, though the proportion of anti-Jewish incidents among total bias incidents declined. 

The state said that the increase in bias incidents was likely due to a combination of improved reporting and the rise in hate crimes nationwide.

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