Threats against Jewish community centers were reported in at least ten states Tuesday, forcing evacuations and prompting the FBI to launch an investigation into possible civil rights violations.
It's the latest in a series of threats, including bomb threats, at the centers in the last few weeks.
The Jewish Community Center Apachi Day Camp in Lake Zurich, Illinois, was evacuated Tuesday morning after a bomb threat was phoned into the campus, according to the Lake County Sheriff's Office, NBC Chicago reported. The threat remains under investigation.
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In an earlier incident, the Sidney Albert Albany Jewish Community Center in Albany, New York, was evacuated Tuesday morning after receiving a bomb threat, the second in the last two weeks, the Albany Times Union reported.
The JCC of Greater New Haven in Woodbridge, Connecticut, was evacuated due to a threat shortly before noon Tuesday, according to JCC officials. The same center was evacuated last week over a bomb threat. The building was checked on Tuesday and employees have since been allowed to return to work, said Judy Diamondstein of the JCC/Jewish Federation.
Preschool students at the Worcester Jewish Community Center in Massachusetts were evacuated after a bomb threat was called in, Worcester Police said. A search by a Worcester Police bomb-sniffing dog and state police turned up nothing, and the building was declared safe. It's the second time in less than two weeks that the center has received bomb threats.
Authorities gave the all-clear for The Lawrence Family JCC in La Jolla after a threat prompted a campus-wide evacuation early Tuesday, San Diego police confirmed.
A bomb threat prompted the evacuation of the Boulder Jewish Community Center in Boulder, Colorado, Tuesday morning, NBC affiliate KUSA reported.
And a bomb threat also prompted the evacuation of the JCC in Salt Lake City Utah, according to Salt Lake City Police, NBC affiliate KSL.com reported.
The JCC Association of North America told NBC in a statement that bomb threats were also called in to its centers in New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio and Wisconsin. Outside the U.S., the London Jewish Community Centre in Ontario, Canada, also received a bomb threat.
"We are concerned about the anti-Semitism behind these threats," David Posner, director of strategic performance at JCC Association of North America said in a statement. He added: "We are relieved that no one has been harmed and that JCCs continue to operate in a way that puts the safety of their staff, visitors, and premises first.”
The FBI and the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division are investigating possible civil rights violations in connection with threats, the agency said in a statement.
On Jan. 18, 27 Jewish community centers in 17 states, including Florida, New Jersey, Delaware, Tennessee and North Carolina received threats, according to the JCC Association of North America. It wasn't clear if they were connected. No injuries or actual explosives have been reported.
On Jan. 9, 16 centers in nine states received threats. In central Florida bomb threats targeted two Jewish centers and two Jewish preschools in Tampa. Authorities said no explosives were found at those locations.