A law enforcement official said on Friday that although federal officials have identified the individual they think made a broad online threat against synagogues in New Jersey, they do not think he intended to carry out a specific plot.
The individual, whose identity was not immediately made public, was questioned by law police and reportedly admitted to officers that he had been bullied and had hatred for Jews.
However, the official continued, “investigators do not think the man had the ability or motivation to carry out any specific attack.”
The official talked to The Associated Press anonymously because they were not to publicly discuss inquiry specifics.
A “broad” threat against synagogues in New Jersey was reported to the FBI on Thursday, prompting several communities to dispatch more police officers to protect houses of worship.
The threat’s specifics were hazy.
In a statement, the FBI’s Newark office urged synagogues to “take necessary security precautions to protect your community and building,” but it would not disclose who or why the threat was made.
A broad online threat against synagogues in New Jersey was uncovered by officials, who then issued the alarm, a law enforcement official said on Thursday.
According to the official, no specific synagogue was mentioned by name in the posting.
In the New York City metropolitan region, public alerts concerning vague threats against Jewish institutions issued by various organizations, including Christian supremacists and Islamist extremists, are not infrequent.
However, many of these alerts turn out to be unfounded.
But there have also been fatal attacks in the neighborhood.
Two men from New Jersey were convicted of a string of crimes in 2012, among them the firebombing of two synagogues, and received a 35-year sentence five years ago.
They also tossed a Molotov cocktail into a rabbi’s house when he was sound asleep with his family.
One person was gravely wounded when a guy attacked five people in 2019 during a Hanukkah party at a rabbi’s house in an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood north of New York City.