NEW YORK — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has ordered an investigation after the latest wave of bomb threats targeting Jewish community centers.
Cuomo said Jewish centers in Tarrytown, Staten Island, New Rochelle and Plainview, Long Island were targeted with bomb threats on Monday.
“These reprehensible and cowardly attacks are not limited to the Jewish community,” the governor said in a statement.
“They are assaults on all New Yorkers and I vow that we will do everything in our power to catch those responsible for this wave of hate crimes.”
The JCC Association of North America says Jewish community centers and day schools in at least a dozen states also received bomb threats Monday. No bombs were found.
The group says it’s the fifth wave of bomb threats at Jewish institutions around the country since January. The group counts a total of 89 incidents in 30 states and Canada.
The Mid-Westchester JCC was one of the targets Monday. At the time, small children were inside the Scarsdale facility.
“It’s our turn. I honestly said, ‘it’s our turn,’” said Executive Director Karen Kolodny. “It’s a fear target, an attempt to make people unsettled and were not gonna let it defeat us.”
For now, many of the groups are being even more strict about security, doing whatever they can to ensure the safety of their members, CBS2’s Janelle Burrell reported.
“It’s a very difficult time just because these threats have not been credible,” said ADL regional director Evan Berstein.
“They have a deep effect in the community. It effects people young and old and families and everyone in between and it’s something we must find an answer to.”
The FBI and the Justice Department are also investigating the hoaxes.
In Philadelphia, meanwhile, police are investigating after hundreds of headstones were knocked over at a Jewish cemetery during the weekend.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions called the vandalism and bomb threats serious, unacceptable behavior and said the department will “do what it can to assist in pushing back — and prosecuting anybody that we can prove to be a part of it.”
“We are a nation that is a diverse constituency, and we don’t need these kind of activities,” Sessions said.