By Mark Borman, Washington Post—
A new wave of threats were made late Monday and Tuesday to Jewish schools and institutions, including the New York and Washington offices of the Anti-Defamation League, according to that group and other officials.
These latest bomb threats came as a letter signed by every U.S. senator was sent to top law enforcement officials in the Trump administration, asking them to do more in response to the bout of threatening messages that have continuously rattled Jewish groups this year.
“We write to underscore the need for swift action with regard to the deeply troubling series of anonymous bomb threats made against Jewish Community Centers (JCCs), Jewish day schools, synagogues and other buildings affiliated with Jewish organizations or institutions across the country,” the senators wrote in a letter, a copy of which was shared publicly Tuesday by Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Gary Peters (D-Mich.), two of the lawmakers who said they were behind the message.
The senators’ letter and the new threats underscored the anxiety still present in Jewish communities four days after a disgraced former journalist was arrested and charged with being responsible for a handful of the threatening messages.
Authorities have accused 31-year-old Juan Thompson of making at least eight of the more than 100 threats that have been reported. The FBI, which has called its investigation of the threats “a top priority,” said they do not think Thompson was behind all of the calls or responsible for the vandalism of headstones at three Jewish cemeteries.
“There are many more JCC bomb threats that have not been solved, and communities are hurting,” Evan Bernstein, the New York regional director at the Anti-Defamation League, told reporters in a conference call hours after Thompson was arrested.
The threats Tuesday targeted facilities in at least eight states, Washington, D.C., and Toronto, officials said.
“Four ADL offices in Atlanta, Boston, New York and Washington D.C. received telephoned bomb threats today,” Jonathan A. Greenblatt, the ADL’s chief executive, said in a statement. “This is not ‘normal.’ We will not be deterred or intimidated.”
The ADL’s national headquarters in New York and the group’s San Francisco office had also received threats last month. New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) said he had asked the New York State Police to help investigate bomb threats at the ADL headquarters as well as Jewish Community Centers in Upstate New York.
“Jewish Community Centers across New York serve as a gathering place for children, seniors, friends and neighbors — and any threat to them is an attack on all of us,” Cuomo said in a statement.