February 20, 2017

ABQ Jewish Community Center again part of wave of bomb threats

Jordan Meeter

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For the second time in two months, Albuquerque’s Jewish Community Center was targeted with a bomb threat today.

It was one of at least 10 bomb threats to different JCCs across the country.

Fred Duran, a spokesman with the Albuquerque Police Department, said the bomb threat to the Albuquerque location “came through the phone.” JCC staff evacuated the building after the threat came, and APD officers found no bomb inside, according to Duran.

Everything at the JCC is currently operating “back to normal,” Duran added.

Similar bomb threats were directed against JCCs today in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Texas, New York and Alabama, according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

Today marks the fourth wave of bomb threats against JCCs across the nation since the start of the year.

An identical situation to today played out at the Albuquerque JCC location on Jan. 31, when staff also evacuated the building after a phoned-in bomb threat. Like today, police found no bomb that day either. Bomb threat were made that day against 17 other JCCs across the nation as well.

The first two waves of JCC bomb threats came on Jan. 9 and Jan. 18. Neither included the Albuquerque location.

Dave Simon, executive director of Albuquerque’s JCC, said its difficult to tell whether the caller making the threat today was the same person who made one on Jan. 31, or whether the person is calling from New Mexico or out of state.

Simon called the threats cowardly and said he’s been gratified by an outpouring of public support following both threats.

“They’re really threats against all of us, attacking and threatening everyone in the community,” he said, noting that 75 percent of the JCC’s members are non-Jewish. “We’re not going to be scared and we’re not going to be bowed. If anything, our commitment to the community will be better.”

Update (1:30 pm): Added quotes from Albuquerque JCC Executive Director Dave Simon.