DHS and FBI Call for Increased Vigilance in Jewish Communities Following Israel’s Recent Military Actions

A recent report from News 12 Brooklyn discusses the NYPD’s efforts to increase security around synagogues in New York City.

Public Intelligence

Last Friday, officials from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) hosted a teleconference with the Major City Chiefs Intelligence Commanders as well as the directors of fusion centers around the country to discuss the “heightened tensions in the Middle East due to the on-going military actions between Israel and Hamas.” A bulletin from the New York State Intelligence Center (NYSIC) described the conference call, stating that DHS and FBI representatives emphasized that there is “currently no credible or specific information suggesting any violent actions in the United States as a result of these tensions” but requested increased vigilance from “law enforcement in regions where Jewish consulates or large Jewish populations exist.”  Law enforcement officials also “discussed measures being taken to ensure the safety and security of their local communities, which included increased law enforcement presence, community outreach and encouraging reporting of suspicious activities.”

The NYSIC bulletin requests that law enforcement in New York “remain vigilant in areas within their jurisdictions having significant Jewish populations, religious institutions and affiliated community centers, and to renew contacts with representatives at those facilities.”  CBS News reported last week that the NYPD increased security around synagogues, Jewish facilities and the Israeli consulate in response to the violence in Gaza.

In February 2012, a DHS-FBI joint intelligence bulletin stated that there were “no specific threats to Jewish organizations, facilities, and personnel” because of Israel’s tensions with Iran. However, the ongoing effects of economic sanctions and “the threat of military action against the Iranian nuclear program” could lead Iran to “consider attacks in the United States, given last year’s foiled plot to allegedly assassinate the Saudi Ambassador to the United States.” The bulletin also warned of the potential for attacks by “domestic violent extremists” who “will continue to threaten and conduct isolated acts of violence against Jewish organizations, facilities, and personnel in the United States.”

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