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US Senate Asks for Federal Help for Jewish Centers Getting Bomb Threats

  • VOA News

FILE - The Jewish Community Center in Tarrytown, New York, pictured Feb. 28, 2017, was a target of one in a recent series of bomb threats called into Jewish community centers and schools across the country.

FILE - The Jewish Community Center in Tarrytown, New York, pictured Feb. 28, 2017, was a target of one in a recent series of bomb threats called into Jewish community centers and schools across the country.

All 100 U.S. senators have signed a letter to the nation's top three law enforcement officials asking for more federal help for Jewish centers and schools dealing with numerous bomb threats.

"These cowardly acts aim to create an atmosphere of fear and disrupt the important programs and services offered by JCCs [Jewish community centers] to everyone in the communities they serve," the letter said.

The letter was sent to the heads of the FBI and Department of Homeland Security and to Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The senators wrote that these law enforcement agencies can provide "crucial assistance" to JCCs and synagogues in providing security, deterring threats, and investigating and prosecuting those who make such threats.

The senators also condemned vandalism at Jewish cemeteries in Philadelphia and St. Louis, calling it "completely unacceptable and un-American."

While House spokesman Sean Spicer said Tuesday that the Trump administration would continue to condemn the bomb threats and other anti-Semitic acts and would look at ways to stop them.

Jewish community centers and schools, along with Anti-Defamation League offices in nine states and Ontario, Canada, reported email or telephone bomb threats Tuesday.

Federal agents arrested a former journalist in St. Louis last week in connection with a number of threats.

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