Upstate New York Jewish community center evacuated amid rash of bomb threats
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Upstate New York Jewish community center evacuated amid rash of bomb threats

Albany complex searched, cleared after anonymous emails warn of explosives at 19 locations in US; NY governor calls incident ‘terror,’ vows to combat rising anti-Semitism

Illustrative: The Albany JCC closed briefly due to a bomb threat, January 18, 2017. (Screenshot from Twitter via JTA)
Illustrative: The Albany JCC closed briefly due to a bomb threat, January 18, 2017. (Screenshot from Twitter via JTA)

ALBANY, New York — The Jewish Community Center in Albany, New York was evacuated and searched Sunday morning after it and several other centers around the country received anonymous emails with vague threats that mentioned a bomb, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said.

Cuomo went to the Albany center after police evacuated about 100 people, searched the building with dogs and declared it safe.

“These types of situations are so ugly and so unfortunate,” Cuomo said. “What’s worse is we’re seeing more and more of them. We’ve had about 42 incidents of anti-Semitism in this state this past couple of months so it’s not getting better. It’s only getting worse.”

Similar vague threats were emailed to about other 18 Jewish Community Centers around the country, according to Cuomo’s office. The centers provide educational, fitness and social programs for children and adults. Cuomo’s office had no further details about the nature of the threats nor whether police searched other locations.

Cuomo said the FBI is investigating where the threats originated. New York State Director of Emergency Management Michael Kopy said the emails were sent to people with Jewish Community Center accounts, but he declined to specify which centers were targeted.

“You have your children in a class in the building and they say there is a bomb threat — that is terror,” Cuomo said. “And that is what they are trying to do, they are trying to create that terror. We can’t let them.”

The Albany center said it would reopen on Monday.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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