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New York City police officers stand guard outside the Riverdale Jewish Center in the Bronx borough of New York on Thursday May 21, 2009. Four men arrested after planting what they thought were explosives near a synagogue and community center and plotting to shoot down a military plane were bent on carrying out a holy war against America, authorities said Thursday. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Jewish community centers received phoned-in bomb threats and vandals damaged a cemetery


Eleven Jewish community centers nationwide received phoned-in bomb threats Monday.

Since the beginning of 2017, a total of 69 incidents of this nature have been reported in 27 states and one Canadian province, according to release from the JCC Association of North America. 

Community centers in Albuquerque, New Mexico; Birmingham, Alabama; Buffalo, New York; Chicago, Illinois; Cleveland, Ohio; Houston, Texas; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Nashville, Tennessee; St. Paul, Minnesota; and Tampa, Florida, all received threats.

“While we are relieved that all such threats have proven to be hoaxes and that not a single person was harmed, we are concerned about the anti-Semitism behind these threats, and the repetition of threats intended to interfere with day-to-day life," the JCC said in a statement. 

The FBI told NBC national correspondent Peter Alexander that they and the Department of Justice are investigating "possible civil rights violations" in connection with these threats. 

"Hatred and hate-motivated violence of any kind have no place in a country founded on the promise of individual freedom," White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told NBC News. "The president has made it abundantly clear that these actions are unacceptable." 

In addition to the bomb threats, investigators are also trying to determine who knocked over or damaged several headstones at a Jewish cemetery in University City, Missouri, on Monday. 

More than 100 headstones at Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery were damaged, Fox affiliate KTVI reports. 

Police are still reviewing security footage in hopes of identifying suspects in the case. 


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