The FBI said on Thursday it had received credible information about a “broad” threat to synagogues in New Jersey.
The FBI’s Newark office released a statement urging synagogues to “take all security precautions to protect your community and facility”.
The alert was posted after officials discovered an online threat directed broadly at synagogues in New Jersey, a law enforcement official said. The posting, though, did not target any specific synagogue by name, the official said. The official could not discuss details of the investigation publicly and spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
More specific details weren’t released.
The governor of New Jersey, Phil Murphy, said the situation was being monitored and he was working with law enforcement to “ensure that all houses of worship are protected”.
Steven Fulop, the mayor of Jersey City, said police would be posted at the city’s seven synagogues and foot patrols would be added in the broader Jewish community. In 2019, two assailants motivated by antisemitic hate killed three people in a kosher market in Jersey City, along with a police officer.
Police officers armed with rifles guarded a synagogue one city over, in Hoboken, where the public safety director also announced increased patrols in Jewish communities.
Five years ago, two New Jersey men were sentenced to 35 years in prison after being convicted for a series of attacks in 2012 that included the fire bombings of two synagogues. They also threw a Molotov cocktail into the home of a rabbi as he slept with his wife and children.
Democratic Representative Josh Gottheimer, whose district encompasses part of the area in northern New Jersey affected by those attacks, said in a statement Thursday that recent comments by Kanye West and the social media post shared by NBA star Kyrie Irving have contributed to the problem.
“I am deeply concerned and outraged by today’s alert from the FBI,” Gottheimer said. “This is what happens after years of antisemitic comments from public figures, including, most recently, Kanye West, Kyrie Irving, and others,” he said.