The recent increase in threats to Jewish Community Centers and synagogues across the United States isn’t just a small uptick, as a Jewish community liaison to the FBI now claims that it is without any precedent.
In an interview with BuzzFeed, Paul Goldenberg, the national director for Secure Community Network, explains that the recent wave in bomb threats and vandalism against Jewish institutions is unlike anything he’s seen in all his time monitoring anti-Semitic hate crimes in the United States.
“You can’t even compare it,” said Goldenberg, whose organization was formed in 2004 to combat threats to the Jewish community and work in tandem with law enforcement officials. “I have been in business for two decades, and we have never seen a number at this level in a short period of time.”
Mark Potok, senior fellow at Southern Poverty Law Center, similarly tells BuzzFeed that the surge in anti-Semitic threats is something “we haven’t seen anything like… in the past.”
There may be a technological explanation for the surge in threats, however, as law enforcement officials are speculating that one individual or group may be using sophisticated call spoofing technology to send out threats from locations that are masked by traditional call-tracing techniques.
BuzzFeed notes that, according to numbers compiled by the Jewish Community Center Association, there have now been more than 100 bomb threats against Jewish institutions this year alone so far.