Nov 4, 2022 2:06 PM CDT
Religious leaders in New Jersey were assured Friday by the FBI that the threat to synagogues they were warned about the day before no longer exists. The agent in charge of the agency's Newark office said the FBI had identified a man who holds "radical extremist views," the New York Times reports. James Dennehy did not say whether the man was taken into custody, but he told more than 500 Jewish leaders and law enforcement officials in a phone call that the suspect "no longer poses a threat to the community." Investigators questioned the man and decided he was acting alone.
Nov 4, 2022 6:10 AM CDT
New Jersey's Jewish communities are on edge after an FBI warning of a "credible" but non-specific threat to synagogues in the state. "We ask at this time that you take all security precautions to protect your community and facility," the FBI's Newark office tweeted Thursday, warning of a "broad" threat. "We will share more information as soon as we can." New Jersey Attorney General Matt Platkin said law enforcement will be stepping up patrols in "sensitive areas" out of an "abundance of caution," Politico reports.
In Lakewood, a major Orthodox population hub, the Lakewood Shomrim neighborhood security group is patrolling the area and coordinating with law enforcement. "We urge the community not to panic but remain vigilant at the same time,” the group told the Times of Israel. "Antisemitism is on the rise. Hopefully nothing comes out of this but being that Lakewood did go through not too long ago an attack obviously people are very worried and scared," the group said, referring to an April attack in which four Orthodox Jewish men were injured by an attacker who described Jews as "devils."
Law enforcement sources tell NBC New York that the alert was issued after a threat was posted online, though it's not clear why this threat was considered more credible than many similar ones. US Rep. Josh Gottheimer said he was "deeply concerned and outraged" by the alert, the AP reports. "This is what happens after years of antisemitic comments from public figures," the New Jersey Democrat said, referring to recent remarks from Kanye West, among others. (Read more synagogue stories.)