Wednesday, December 29, 2010

UK terror arrests a reminder: threat is real

The UK Christmas bombing campaign by nine alleged terrorists primarily targeted iconic sites such as the London Stock Exchange, Big Ben, the Millennium Wheel and the American Embassy in London. The religious sites on their list included Westminster Abbey and two British synagogues and rabbis (The CST is the lead British organization dealing with Jewish security, see their information here).

Prosecutors reported that the group had conducted pre-operational surveillance of some of their potential targets and had tested explosives.

This plot echoes many of the "homegrown terror" plots here in the U.S. and is a reminder that:

  • Anti-Semitism is a core component of Jihadist ideology.
  • Anti-Semitism is a common tool in the radicalization process.
  • Jewish-affiliated targets may be preferable for less sophisticated terrorists.
  • Jewish institutions may not be priority targets, but may become secondary targets or targets of convenience.
Jewish organizations should continue to operate with heightened vigilance. Review our security resources for suggestions and guidance at: Timely articles include Tips on detecting hostile surveillance from our partners at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and JCRC's Sample Building Access Policies and Procedures.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

JCRC commends NYPD & Shomrim in Hate Crime arrest

Alan Jaffe, President and Michael S. Miller, Executive Vice President and CEO of the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York commended the actions of the NYPD and the Williamsburg Shomrim Patrol, saying: "The arrests of two individuals show what can happen when the NYPD and the community work together. It was great teamwork."

Monday night, a man leaving a synagogue was assaulted. The Williamsburg Shomrim Patrol responded, identified the perpetrators and held them until officers from the 90th Precinct arrived to arrest them.

Detectives from the 90th Precinct and the Hate Crimes Task Force jointly questioned the suspects, who admitted to last week's brutal Thanksgiving assault in the same neighborhood.

The suspects, who are 14 and 15 years old, have been charged with several counts of assault and hate crimes. "While these individuals are technically minors," explained Jaffe and Miller, "we call on the District Attorney of Kings County to petition that they be tried in Supreme Court. These individuals admitted to multiple felonies with bias motivation and this was not the first attack. They should be held accountable for their actions to the full extent of the law."