U.S. Jewish Centers Turn to AG Sessions on Bomb Threats

'Anti-Semitism of this nature should not, and must not, be allowed to endure in our communities or to metastasize into something worse.'

Las Vegas police officers search the Jewish Community Center of Southern Nevada after a bomb threat, February 27, 2017.
Ethan Miller/AFP

American Jewish Community Centers sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday asking him to press on with the investigation into the wave of bomb threats they have recently encountered.

"Since the beginning of January, Jewish Community Centers, schools and other Jewish institutions in more than 30 states have been threatened over 100 times, forcing evacuations and bomb searches, and creating disruption and fear," the JCC Association of North America wrote Sessions. "While we are relieved that no one has been hurt, and all calls have been hoaxes, anti-Semitism of this nature should not, and must not, be allowed to endure in our communities or to metastasize into something worse."

On Wednesday, bomb threats were emailed to four Jewish community centers, following a wave of threats that targeted 16 Jewish institutions on Tuesday. In recent months, the U.S. has been hit by several waves of bomb threats targeting Jewish community centers across the country. In addition, Jewish cemeteries in Philadelphia and St. Louis were vandalized.

"President [Donald] Trump forcefully condemned the situation at the outset of a speech to Congress, DHS has promised heightened support to JCCs through its protective security advisers, and our leadership had the chance to meet with FBI Director Comey.

"Still, we are frustrated with the progress in resolving this situation. We insist that all relevant federal agencies, including your own, apply all the resources available to identify and bring the perpetrator or perpetrators, who are trying to instill anxiety and fear in communities across the country, to justice," the JCCs said.

On Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said that threats against Jewish community centers across the United States were "incredibly saddening" and that the Trump administration would continue to denounce them and work toward ending them. Spicer called the incidents "anti-Semitic hate crimes" and said the White House denounces them "in the strongest terms."

Meanwhile, in a rare display of bipartisan cooperation, all U.S. Senators joined forces to call on the Trump administration to offer support and assistance to the U.S. Jewish community in light of recent anti-Semitic attacks and incidents across the country.