As New York City authorities gathered Tuesday to discuss recent bomb threats to Jewish centers, dispatchers were dealing with even more at other locations around the United States.
Mayor Bill de Blasio and police officials addressed the issue on Staten Island.
“These are coming in at unprecedented rate,” NYPD chief of detectives Robert Boyce said.
Authorities say there has been a 113 percent increase in anti-Semitic hate crimes in New York City since the start of the year. More than half of the 100 reported hate crimes there have been classified as anti-Semitic.
New threats were called in Tuesday at the offices of a Jewish civil rights organization and several other Jewish community centers and schools, police said. Some of the bomb threats were made in New York, Rhode Island, Milwaukee and Miami.
“This is not ‘normal,'” Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, said Tuesday. “We will not be deterred or intimidated.”
Threats were phoned in to Anti-Defamation League offices in New York City, Atlanta, Boston and Washington, D.C. The national headquarters in Manhattan was voluntarily evacuated as a precaution, NBC New York reported.
White House spokesman Sean Spicer acknowledged the new threats during his news briefing Tuesday and said the Trump administration would continue to denounce them.
“I want to acknowledge that there has been an additional wave of threats to Jewish Community Centers and Anti-Defamation League offices,” he said. “I share the president’s thoughts that he vehemently hopes that we don’t continue to have to share these reports with you. But as long as they do continue, we will continue to condemn them and look at ways in which we can stop them.”
A federal investigation into some of the threats led to the arrest in St. Louis last week of former freelance journalist and Bernie Sanders voter Juan Thompson, who allegedly called in several threats to Jewish community centers.
By Doug G. Ware