Bomb squad called to synagogue in Lakewood, NJ after grenade found nearby

US law enforcement says device placed near Hasidic house of worship ‘was found to be inert and nonexplosive’; ADL: Incident ‘stokes fear’

Police tape is seen in front of a utility police on which a grenade was taped, near a US Satmar synagogue in Lakewood, New Jersey, November 19, 2023. (Screenshot X. Used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
Police tape is seen in front of a utility police on which a grenade was taped, near a US Satmar synagogue in Lakewood, New Jersey, November 19, 2023. (Screenshot X. Used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

A bomb squad was called Sunday to a Hasidic synagogue in Lakewood, New Jersey after a grenade was found strapped to a utility pole nearby, according to US reports.

Images published by the Lakewood Scoop from outside the Satmar synagogue showed the grenade taped onto a pole across from the synagogue, with the area cordoned off with police tape.

Prosecutors said the state bomb squad arrived after police were notified of the grenade and “the device was found to be inert and nonexplosive.”

“There is no danger to the public and this remains an active and ongoing investigation,” Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer said.

There were no immediate reports of arrests and law enforcement did not indicate any potential motive.

The incident in Lakewood, which has a major Jewish population, came amid surging antisemitism in the United States and elsewhere around the globe since the devastating Hamas onslaught in southern Israel on October 7 and Israel’s subsequent military offensive against the Gaza-ruling terror group.

“At a time when communities are already experiencing a rise in hate, a grenade outside of a synagogue stokes fear in Lakewood, NJ, a hub of American Jewish religious life,” the Anti-Defamation League said.

“We urge law enforcement to thoroughly investigate this threat, and as a community, we will stay vigilant but we must not be intimidated,” it added.

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