FBI identifies threat to New Jersey synagogues: ‘No longer poses a danger'

People participate in a Jewish solidarity march on January 5, 2020, in New York City. The march was held in response to a recent rise in anti-Semitic crimes in the greater New York metropolitan area. | Jeenah Moon/Getty Images

A person of interest has been questioned concerning the credible threats against New Jersey synagogues that the Federal Bureau of Investigation warned of this week. 

An FBI Newark spokesperson confirmed in a Friday statement to The Christian Post that investigators "identified the source of the threat who no longer poses a danger to the community."

"Upon receipt of threat information against an unspecified New Jersey area synagogue, the FBI notified community leaders and our law enforcement partners," the spokesperson said. 

"As always, we would like to remind the public, to remain vigilant and if they observe suspicious activity to report it to law enforcement immediately."

CNN reported Friday that authorities identified and interviewed an individual connected with the threats against the Jewish places of worship in the Garden State.

The FBI of Newark, New Jersey, said in a Thursday tweet that it had received information of a broad threat to synagogues in the state. 

"We ask at this time that you take all security precautions to protect your community and facility. We will share more information as soon as we can. Stay alert. In case of emergency call police," the post reads. 

In a follow-up tweet hours later, the agency said it was "taking a proactive measure with this warning while investigative processes are carried out." 

An online post in a forum containing anti-Semitic comments prompted the FBI alert, according to CNN. A source within the FBI told CNN that the agency was alarmed because the post was written as if an attack had already occurred. 

Authorities say similar anti-Semitic comments have been posted online by individuals who committed violence against Jewish people.

In 2018, the man charged with killing 11 people at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh frequently posted hateful comments about Jewish people online. The shooter's social media profiles were taken down following the massacre, but archives of his rants were made available online.

New Jersey is just under three years removed from an anti-Semitic shooting that killed three civilians and injured three others outside a kosher deli in Jersey City. Authorities say the deli was "targeted" for the hate crime. 

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy tweeted Thursday that he was in touch with the FBI, the state's Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness and the state attorney general. He indicated that his office is "closely monitoring" the situation and working with local law enforcement to "ensure that all houses of worship are protected." 

Multiple reports from the Anti-Defamation League have raised concerns about increased anti-Semitic incidents across the United States, especially in New York and New Jersey.

In its latest annual report tallying anti-Semitic incidents in 2021, the Jewish advocacy group states that New York (416) and New Jersey (370) recorded the most anti-Semitic incidents among states. ADL counted 2,717 incidents of assault, harassment and vandalism against Jewish people nationwide in 2021, the highest number on record since the ADL began tracking anti-Semitic incidents in 1979.

ADL's annual college campus report released earlier this month reports that 350 anti-Israel incidents occurred on college campuses during the 2021-2022 school year. The ADL reported 143 anti-Israel events, 165 protests and actions and 20 Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) resolutions and referenda.

In addition, the ADL reported there were 11 instances of vandalism, 19 instances of targeted verbal and written harassment, and one case involving a physical assault. 

During an April 18 Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) protest at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, a student was charged with a hate crime for throwing a rock at a group of Jewish students.

The ADL contends that many college campuses perpetuate the idea that Israel is guilty of "genocide" and label the country an "apartheid state." Calls to boycott Israel and Israel-based countries appear to be a trend at many colleges. 

According to ADL, some secondary institutions even went so far as to bar Jewish students from participating in campus organizations due to their assumed support for Israel and Zionism.

"The anti-Semitic vitriol directed at pro-Israel students is deeply unsettling and makes our colleges and universities feel less safe and secure for Jewish students," said ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt in an Oct. 12 statement.

"University leaders must learn how to recognize and adequately respond to anti-Semitism whenever it arises, including when anti-Israel activities cross the line into anti-Semitic hatred."

Samantha Kamman is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at:

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