Anonymous Bomb Threats Rattle Jewish Centers Across Eastern U.S.

Source: The New York Times

The morning rush at the Jewish community center in Columbia, S.C., had subsided when the phone rang on Monday. The caller, an elderly-sounding woman, “in a loud screaming voice kept saying there’s a bomb,” said Barry A. Abels, the center’s executive director.

At roughly the same time, a woman dialed the Jewish community center in Rockville, Md., nearly 500 miles away, and said there was a bomb. Not long after, a man called a Jewish organization in Wilmington, Del. He, too, warned of a bomb.

Similar threats, which turned out to be unfounded, were reported all over the Eastern United States on Monday, at as many as 16 Jewish community facilities, one advocacy group estimated. Time and time again, the police responded, buildings were evacuated and, after tense waits, the centers and schools reopened.

Federal law enforcement officials did not definitively link the threats, but the episodes rattled nerves, and raised deep concern and little doubt that the phone calls had been orchestrated.

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