Feds to combat 'unacceptable and escalating threats' towards Jewish centers

In two months, there have been 119 bomb threats made towards Jewish institutions around the country.
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The Department of Homeland Security is stepping in to deal with all the threats Jewish Community Centers have been getting.

“Over the past several weeks, the country has seen unacceptable and escalating threats and actual harassment directed at faith-based communities around the country, with a particular focus on threats to Jewish Community Centers," Secretary John Kelly said in a statement Wednesday .

Kelly is referring to the 119 bomb threats made towards Jewish institutions around the country in just two months. A few of those happened in Minnesota.

So the DHS is working with Jewish communities all over the U.S. to keep people safe. According to the statement, Kelly says the DHS will "heighten our outreach" and offer extra advise and support.

The federal resources include facility vulnerability assessments, preparation for bomb and active shooter situations, along with other protective measures.

The department has held several workshops and sessions over the past 18 months. It also provides this training and assistance to other places of worship, schools, and community centers upon request.

“The right to worship and commune within and across faiths is fundamental to the American experience and our way of life," Kelly said. "DHS will continue to support communities across the country to preserve these fundamental freedoms."

What's happened in Minnesota

So far this year, there have been two bomb threats at Minnesota Jewish Community Centers.

One happened in January in St. Louis Park. The other happened last month in St. Paul.

In both cases, the centers were evacuated as officials scoped things out. Nothing suspicious was ever found.

There have been other acts of anti-Semitism, as well.

A swastika with the words “Hail the Ku Klux Klan” was found scrawled on a bathroom stall at Lakeville South High School.

The University of Minnesota has had seven anti-Semitic incidents since December. The school even issued a statement in regard to the uptick in hate crimes, calling it "abhorrent and alarming."

And last week, Minnesota Muslim groups took out an ad in the Star Tribune to say they stand with Jewish communities during these tough times.

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