Houston, TX, May 2, 2013 ... The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is deeply concerned about bomb threats to two Jewish institutions in Houston and has been working with law enforcement and the Jewish community to respond.
The threats were left on voicemail the night of April 30 at two synagogues and contained numerous anti-Semitic statements.
“The individual who threatened the synagogues espoused deeply anti-Semitic beliefs,” said ADL Southwest Regional Director Martin B. Cominsky. “Of course, we are always concerned about threats, especially in this period of heightened tension after the terrorism at the Boston Marathon, but the element of anti-Semitism in these threats made them even more troubling,” Cominsky added.
After being notified of the voicemail messages and making sure the institutions involved contacted law enforcement, ADL worked as a liaison between the synagogues and police, and issued a security bulletin to other Jewish institutions, notifying those institutions of the threat and urging them to review their security policies and procedures.
“The Jewish community is concerned about security 24/7 because Jewish institutions are often targets,” Cominsky said, “but instances like these serve as reminders that those policies and procedures should be reviewed on a regular basis.”
Houston law enforcement officers also responded quickly to the threats. “We are grateful to the FBI and the Houston Police Department for their quick action in initiating an investigation into these calls and providing extra security in response,” Cominsky said.
ADL has provided copies of its online guide, Protecting Your Jewish Institutions: Security Strategies for Today’s Dangerous World, to Jewish and other community institutions across Texas.