The latest bomb threats against Jewish community centers across the U.S. were reportedly carried out using "spoofing," technology that makes a call appear like it's coming from a "friendly" or known source, while in fact it is not.
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Buzzfeed News cited Paul Goldenberg, a former law enforcement official who directs the Secure Community Network, a security group affiliated with the organized U.S. Jewish community, as saying that federal investigators have determined that the perpetrators were using the tactic and other "technologies that have made the investigation more challenging.”
Bomb threats against Jewish targets leaped from the East to the West Coast on Monday afternoon, bringing the number of centers threatened to 29 in the fifth such wave sweeping the United States.
The threats came in the form of prerecorded “robo-calls” in some cases and live calls in others. In both types, the callers used voice disguising technology. Experts believe the calls are coming from a single source, though the phone numbers have were made undetectable. Thus far, no actual bombs or other signs of a physical threat have been found at any of the locations.
According to Buzzfeed, the FBI and the Justice Department Civil Rights Division said that they are looking at the threats as possible civil rights violations.
Over the past 45 days there have been an estimated 190 incidents targeting Jews and Jewish institutions throughout the United States, including verbal and written threats and vandalism. Over 90 bomb threats have been called in to 73 Jewish institutions in 30 states and one Canadian province in five separate waves. Meanwhile, Jewish cemeteries were vandalized in Philadelphia and St. Louis.
Goldenberg has recently told Haaretz that the situation was “unprecedented.”
U.S. President Donald Trump began his first speech before a joint session of Congress on Tuesday night by referring to the recent wave of anti-Semitic incidents across the United States, just hours after it was reported that he hinted at a possibility that these incidents were not in fact a result of anti-Semitism.