Officials are investigating bomb threats and hoax phone calls made against synagogues across 10 different states since July 21, the Anti-Defamation League said in a statement Sunday.
At least 25 synagogues, three Jewish day schools and two ADL offices have received threats, an ADL spokesperson said. The ADL’s headquarters in New York City was among the institutions targeted. (RELATED: Atlanta PD Investigating Antisemitic, ‘Transphobic’ Flyers Strewn Around Town’)
— ADL (@ADL) August 13, 2023
“We are aware of a small antisemitic and racist group that has been targeting wide range of religious, public, and educational institutions,” ADL spokesperson Jake Hyman said.
Four weeks of threats have ensued, the ADL said. Many hoax phone calls take place during livestream services at synagogues. Hyman claims that the threats are “heinous acts” meant to “disrupt Jewish daily life (and) prayer.”
“ADL continues this evening to work with law enforcement and community partners to mitigate the ongoing disruption to Jewish prayer services, as well as additional targets, by a group of online trolls who swat and call in fake bomb threats,” the ADL said in a statement. “These trolls, who employ highly antisemitic language during their calls, have targeted over two dozen synagogues and two ADL offices.”
Many “African-American churches and a news organization” were also victims of threats as the group “expanded their targets,” the ADL said.
The FBI and law enforcement have teamed up with the ADL to investigate whether an organized group is responsible for the threats. The New York City Police Department (NYPD) is “working very closely alongside the ADL and the FBI” to get to the bottom of the threats.
The attackers likely have experience avoiding detection because they concealed their IP addresses and used Voice over Internet Protocol instead of their own voices on the phone, NYPD said.