New York, New York, February 28, 2018 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today welcomed a new federal indictment in connection with a series of over 150 bomb threats against Jewish community institutions in 38 states and several Canadian provinces in the first three months of 2017. The new indictment, filed against the Israeli-American suspect arrested in March 2017, includes, for the first time, federal hate crime charges.
“Make no mistake, these threats were acts of anti-Semitism and deserve to be treated as a hate crime,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said. “They targeted Jewish institutions in order to stoke fear and anxiety, and put the entire Jewish community on high alert.”
“We applaud the diligent investigative work of the FBI, the Justice Department, the Department of Homeland Security, and the state and local law enforcement officials who made this investigation a high priority,” Greenblatt said. “We especially appreciate the fact that these federal charges recognize that these threats constituted crimes – and we welcome the strong statements by Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI Director Christopher Wray recognizing the deep impact of hate violence. We again call on Congress to enact legislation to expand federal protections against bomb threats to religious institutions. The House of Representatives approved their version of this measure in December and now the Senate must act without hesitation.”
Earlier this week, the League issued new report documenting 1,986 anti-Semitic incidents reported across the United States in 2017, including physical assaults, vandalism, and attacks on Jewish institutions. That figure represents a 57 percent increase over the 1,267 incidents in 2016 – the largest single-year increase on record and the second highest number reported since ADL started tracking incident data in 1979. There were a total of 169 bomb threats against Jewish community institutions in 2017, including some not linked to the alleged perpetrator in this case.
The Anti-Defamation League was founded in 1913 to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all. Today it is the world’s leading organization combating anti-Semitism, exposing hate groups, training law enforcement on hate crimes, developing anti-bias education programs for students, countering cyber-hate and relentlessly pursuing equal rights for all. Follow us on Twitter: @ADL_National