Kaine calls on FBI to probe threats against Jewish centers

Kaine calls on FBI to probe threats against Jewish centers

Sen. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineBipartisan senators introduce bill to make changes to the Paycheck Protection Program Overnight Defense: National Guard chief negative in third coronavirus test | Pentagon IG probing Navy's coronavirus response | Democrats blast use of Russia deterrence funds on border wall Overnight Defense: Navy secretary nominee: Service in 'rough waters' after 'failure of leadership'| Senate fails to override Trump's Iran war powers veto| Top Armed Services Republican expects to address Pentagon border wall funds in defense policy bill MORE (D-Va.) is calling on the FBI to investigate a recent series of bomb threats against Jewish community centers.

“As you know, a current wave of anti-Semitic incidents has heightened fear anxiety and anxiety in Jewish communities nationwide,” Kaine wrote in a letter to FBI Director James Comey on Tuesday.

“In the past week alone, vandals have targeted Jewish cemeteries in Missouri and Philadelphia, while more than 100 bomb threats have been called into Jewish institutions since January,” the 2016 Democratic vice presidential nominee added.

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“I am deeply disturbed by these events and request that you use all necessary FBI resources to investigate these incidents and work with Jewish communities to assess and address their needs.”

Kaine said FBI involvement takes on new urgency after reports the Trump administration plans to cut Department of Justice programs aimed at combatting hate crimes.

“These reports make it even more important that law enforcement entities, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, swiftly investigate cowardly acts of hate against vulnerable communities, including the young students of Gesher Jewish Day School,” he said, referencing a Virginia school reportedly threatened Monday.

Reports emerged Monday about a string of new bomb threats targeting Jewish community centers and schools across the U.S.

Jewish community centers in states including Indiana, Pennsylvania and New York all received intimidating phone calls about potential bombings, according to NBC News.

The JCC Association of North America earlier this month reported that 11 Jewish community centers experienced similar messages, all of which were later determined to be hoaxes.

President Trump condemned the uptick in incidents last week amid criticism he has not treated the matter forcefully enough, and is reportedly looking to address the topic in his joint speech to Congress on Tuesday evening.