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Federation responds to bomb threat arrest

On March 23, reports surfaced regarding an arrest in connection with the bomb threats against Jewish institutions around the U.S.

After nearly four months of an FBI-led joint investigation, Israeli police arrested a 19-year-old Israeli man. The individual, whose identity has not yet been revealed, is reportedly a U.S. citizen who holds dual citizenship in Israel, according to media reports. The investigation is ongoing and more details are expected.

According to Security Community Network, the security arm of the American Jewish community, although a majority of threats are believed to be linked to this individual, it is thought that some of the more recent bomb threats were copy-cat incidents. SCN urges all Jewish institutions to remain vigilant and aware of the potential for follow-on incidents, including copy-cat threats in the wake of this high-profile case and international media coverage.

Jerry Silverman, president and CEO of the Jewish Federations of North America, released the following statement, praising law enforcement and expressing relief that an arrest has been made:

Ten days ago, and again this morning, Jewish leaders were briefed by top officials from the FBI. From those briefings, we learned about the unprecedented level of time and resources that were committed to this investigation along with high levels of cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security and a long list of partners, including Israeli law enforcement. It was heartbreaking to learn that a Jewish man is a prime suspect. Our ability to adapt quickly and liaise with law enforcement officials was in large part due to the work of the Secure Community Network. As a community and a society we must remain vigilant in our effort to counter anti-Semitism and other hate crimes as they appear. We are fortunate to know we have partners in law enforcement who will do whatever it takes to bring these perpetrators to justice.

Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix Executive Director Marty Haberer had the following to say:

There is some relief and potential closure in knowing that a suspect has been found and is in custody. And while it is too early to be certain that the suspect is indeed guilty, it is painful to hear the early rumors that this individual may very well be Jewish. Regardless, these months of heightened awareness have encouraged our community to improve our security practices to ensure our safety.

Click for more on the arrest.

About the Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix
The Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix strengthens and sustains a vibrant, inclusive community that enriches lives through Jewish values, innovation and stewardship. We ensure the long-term viability of our Jewish community by providing leadership, financial support and synergy with other Jewish organizations in Greater Phoenix, Israel and around the world.

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Media Contact:
Laura Toussaint-Newkirk