West Orange, NJ – Jews aren’t the only ones getting ready for the upcoming High Holidays.
Law enforcement agencies and local police are also preparing for any potential terror incidents against the Jewish community and synagogues in and around the Tri-State area.
CBS2 reports that the FBI, SWAT, and local police conducted a mock simulation of two terrorist attacks today at Ahavas Achim B’Nai Jacob & David in West Orange, New Jersey.
As part of the simulation, agents and officers report to the scene with non-lethal paint pellets and face masks. When they arrive, people are fleeing from a synagogue, while a terrorist slits the throat of a hostage and detonates his mock suicide vest filled with baby powder.
In another scenario, law enforcement agents respond to two a scene where two terrorists have commandeered a bus in front of the synagogue, killing the driver and several passengers.
In total, there are 17 fake deaths, including the five terrorists. Cameras record the entire simulation to allow authorities to critique responding authorities and determine how their response can be improved.
“These exercises are important for us to see how well we’re prepared,” said Celeste Danzi, public affairs officer for the FBI in Newark.
The FBI has said lone wolf attacks are the greatest threat facing the nation, and it depends on the community to report suspicious activity in order to thwart real terrorist attacks.
Rabbi Eliezer Zwickler of Ahavas Achim B’Nai Jacob & David was able to watch the simulation. “To see them, you know handle the scenario with such professionalism was comforting,” he said.
“On the other hand, you know, it’s obviously very frightening to see it all go down.”