New York

Another Jewish Group Targeted by Bomb Threat in New York as Profile Emerges of Suspect in National Pattern

What to Know

  • The threat to the Brooklyn group Friday marked the second time in two days an NY Jewish group had been targeted
  • It comes amid an ongoing pattern of threats targeting Jewish groups across the nation; more than 100 have been received
  • A top NYPD official said Thursday investigators believe one man using a voice changer and other tech is behind most of the threats

Authorities are investigating yet another bomb threat targeting a Jewish organization in Brooklyn, the second in two days and the latest in a string of threats targeting religious groups across the country in recent months.

Police responded to the building on Coney Island Avenue in Midwood after getting a call about the threat shortly before 9 a.m. Friday. The building houses several offices, including the Jewish Association Serving the Aging. Police say someone texted the threat to a person at the Jewish group. 

The block was closed down as authorities investigated, though sidewalks were open to passersby. Police gave the "all clear" before 10:30 a.m. 

The threat comes a day after a Jewish Children's Museum in Crown Heights was evacuated for several hours as authorities investigated a bomb threat that came in via email overnight. No device was found, as has been the case with the dozens of threats prompting evacuations nationwide since January.

Gov. Cuomo, who spoke at the museum Thursday, issued another statement Friday condemning the threats. He also said he would direct the New York State Police to coordinate with federal and local law enforcement in an investigation into Friday's threat.

"When is enough enough? This is not who we are and not who we should be," Cuomo said in a statement. "We are committed to bringing whoever is responsible for this egregious act to justice."

Meanwhile, investigators probing the vast wave of threats sweeping the nation are developing a clearer picture of the person behind them. John Miller, the city's head of police intelligence, said investigators believe one man using a voice changer and phone spoofing device is behind most of the threats. 

John Miller, speaking on "CBS This Morning" Thursday, described the attacks as coordinated. The spoofing device makes it appear the call is not coming from the number the man is using, and makes it appear it's coming from within the institution, he said.

"We have an offender with some technical prowess here," Miller said.

The Anti-Defamation League says 148 threats targeting Jewish institutions have been received across the country since January. 

One arrest has been made in the threats, a St. Louis man accused of making eight of the calls in an effort to harass his ex-girlfriend. Juan Thompson has asked a federal judge in Missouri to release him on bond as he faces the federal charges out of New York. Thompson's lawyer declined comment.

Miller said the NYPD is working with federal officials who are the lead investigators on the case. He said he's working with institutions in New York to help them manage responses to the threats.

"Most of the time, the person who's legitimately trying to do harm doesn't call ahead to diminish the amount of harm he or she is doing," he said on "CBS This Morning." 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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