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FBI says it has ‘credible information of a broad threat’ to synagogues in New Jersey


The FBI in Newark, New Jersey, said Thursday afternoon it has received “credible information of a broad threat to synagogues” in the state, according to a tweet from the office.

“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. In case of emergency call police,” the post said.

In a second tweet, the agency said it was taking a “proactive measure” with that warning, while “investigative processes are carried out.”

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said he is in touch with the FBI, the state’s Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness and the state attorney general.

“We are closely monitoring the situation and are working with local law enforcement to ensure that all houses of worship are protected,” Murphy wrote on Twitter.

The NYPD also said Thursday its Intelligence and Counterterrorism Bureaus were working with the Joint Terrorism Task Force and the FBI to “ensure the safety and well-being of every area that encompasses our Jewish citizens and synagogues here in New York City and the tri-state area.”

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul clarified there was no related threat in New York but that officials were continuing to monitor the situation.

“Hatred, threats, or violence toward Jewish communities is unacceptable. We will always stand with our Jewish neighbors,” Hochul said on Twitter.

Over the past few years, the US has seen a rise in antisemitic incidents, with 941 incidents in 2015 jumping to 2,717 tracked in 2021 by the Anti-Defamation League. On Thursday, the ADL said it was working with the FBI to address the credible threat and advised synagogues and Jewish organizations to “remain calm and in heightened state of alert.”

Just over four years ago, a gunman stormed into a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and killed 11 people in the deadliest attack on Jewish people on US soil.

The FBI’s warning on Thursday comes amid continued reports across the country of anti-Jewish bigotry, including multiple antisemitic messages that appeared in public spaces in Jacksonville, Florida, over the weekend, and a group of demonstrators who hung banners over a Los Angeles freeway earlier in October showing support for antisemitic comments that were made by Kanye West. Photos also showed the group with their arms raised in what appeared to be the Nazi salute. Los Angeles officials condemned the incident.

West previously made a series of antisemitic outbursts, notably on October 8, when he tweeted he was “going death con 3 [sic] On JEWISH PEOPLE,” and also that, “You guys have toyed with me and tried to black ball anyone whoever opposes your agenda,” without specifying what group he was addressing, according to the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine records pulled by CNN.

His tweet was removed and Twitter locked his account. In an interview conducted after the controversial tweet, West told Piers Morgan that he was sorry for the people that he hurt but said he didn’t regret making the remark.

CNN has reached out to the FBI for more information on their tweet.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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