Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Bomb Threat Forces Evacuation of St. Louis Jewish Community Center

Posted By on Wed, Jan 18, 2017 at 12:52 PM

click to enlarge PHOTO VIA GOOGLE
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A threatening phone call claiming a bomb had been set within the Creve Coeur campus of the St. Louis Jewish Community Center, or JCC, triggered an evacuation of the facility this morning. The JCC location in Chesterfield was evacuated as well.

The call came in around 10 a.m., says St. Louis County Police Department spokesman Benjamin Granda. Although it appears the call was an empty threat — a search of the grounds has so far come up empty — the department has deployed bomb-sniffing dogs to scour the campus.

"This is something we can't play cheap," Granda says. "The canine units are doing an exhaustive sweep."

Granda notes that the local JCC is among at least 25 others in the U.S. that received bomb threats today, including facilities in Miami, Detroit and Nashville. Last week, sixteen Jewish centers across the U.S. reported receiving bomb threats, resulting in mass evacuations and panic, reported Haaretz. All of last week's bomb threats turned out to be false. It is not clear how these various threats are linked, if at all.

The evacuations were announced to JCC members through a morning email, reports Fox 2 (KTVI). The email stated,
This morning, we, along with several J's across the country received a bomb threat. Although we believed ours to be without merit (no other threats resulted in an incident), we took the threat seriously and evacuated both locations. We are working with local and federal law enforcement and will communicate again when we have received the all clear. We have every expectation that we will re-open the buildings in a few hours.”

Follow Danny Wicentowski on Twitter at @D_Towski. E-mail the author atDanny.Wicentowski@RiverfrontTimes.com

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