January 31, 2017

ABQ Jewish Community Center one of over a dozen targeted with bomb threat

Albuquerque’s Jewish Community Center is functioning back to normal Tuesday afternoon after a scare from a phoned bomb threat.

The threat came in a phone call to the JCC earlier in the day, according to Albuquerque Police Department spokesman Simon Drobik.

The JCC responded by quickly evacuating staff.

“We then sent over the bomb squad and deemed the area safe,” Drobik said.

The bomb scare came on the same day threats were made against at least 17 other JCCs in five other states, according to a report in Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Other states where JCCs were threatened include New York, New Jersey, Wisconsin, California and Utah.

The event today is the third such mass threats against multiple Jewish institutions in the U.S. this month. The first wave of violent threats came on Jan. 9 against 16 JCCs across the nation, according to JTA. The second wave of bomb threats came on Jan. 18 across 17 states.

Today is the first time Albuquerque and New Mexico were a part of the recent threat wave.

“These types of threats are often used as scare tactics to disrupt normal operations of a community and to cause fear and panic,” Suki Halevi, New Mexico regional director of the Anti-Defamation League, said in an interview. “But each threat has to be taken seriously and investigated.”

She recommended “all communal institutions in the Jewish community and also in other threatened minority communities” review their security procedures.

ADL’s recommended security procedures can be found here, here and here.