Bomb threats have been reported on Monday at Jewish centers in six states across the United States, local media reported.
The threats were reported against Jewish institutions in New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Tennesee, South Carolina and two metropolitan areas in Florida – Miami and Jacksonville, according to local news websites. In the Miami area, institutions in Miami Beach and Kendall were affected.
The Miami Herald reported: “Two Miami-Dade Jewish community centers were evacuated Monday morning while police investigated bomb threats each received by phone,” adding: “While Miami-Dade police investigated [the Kendall] incident, Miami Beach police evacuated several people so K9 units could sweep the Miami Beach Jewish Community Center just north of 41st Street and Pine Tree Drive.
Miami Beach police gave the all-clear on that just after noon.” The all-clear at the Kendall facility, which is known as the Alper JCC, came about an hour later, according to the Herald.
In Jacksonville, in the northern part of Florida, the city’s Channel 4 news website reported that the Jewish Community Alliance in the city was given an all-clear about an hour after a bomb threat was phoned in to that institution.
In Maryland, a bomb threat was called into the Bender Jewish Community Center in Rockville, a suburb of the District of Columbia. The building was reportedly evacuated. A notice on the JCC’s website later on Monday stated: “The Bender JCC is now open. The Montgomery County Policy and Fire Departments responded to the threat. The building was inspected and found to be all clear.”
The Wilmington News Journal website in Delaware reported that a bomb threat was called into the Siegel Jewish Community Center north of Wilmington as well on Monday.
Jewish Federation of Delaware CEO Seth J. Katzen told the website all four Jewish institutions on the site, which includes the Jewish Federation, a Jewish school and Jewish Family Services of Delaware were evacuated.
Reporting on a bomb threat in Tenafly, New Jersey, the website of the NBC affiliate in New York, Channel 4, stated: “The JCC on Palisades in Tenafly sent out a text alert saying it received a bomb threat shortly after noon, and that it evacuated the entire building, including a preschool, senior center and adult daycare facility for people with disabilities, as a precaution.”
The television station sent a helicopter over the facility in the early afternoon local time. “The ‘all clear’ appeared to have been issued a short time later, as chopper footage showed people walking back into the building,” the station’s website reported.
In Tennessee, Nashville-area police were reported responding to a bomb threat at the Gordon Jewish Community Center in West Nashville. Mark S. Freedman, executive director of the Jewish Federation of Nashville and Middle Tennessee, told USA Today that “everyone is safe and secure.” Preschool children at the JCC had been evacuated to another site, he added.
In South Carolina, the threat was directed against the Katie and Irwin Kahn Jewish Community Center in Columbia, the state capital.
Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives spokeswoman Amanda Hils said her agency was aware of the threats and that its field offices were prepared to assist state and local law enforcement officials, the Associated Press reported.