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Anti-Defamation League: Trolls Targeting US Synagogues

The Anti-Defamation League said in a Wednesday press release that dozens of American synagogues have been targeted by “online trolls,” in some cases disrupting services.

The group drew attention to repeated instances of “swatting,” a practice that involves individuals pinning a fake terrorist threat on others to prompt potentially dangerous law enforcement reactions.

Swatting has resulted in at least 26 fake bomb threats at synagogues and two at ADL offices across 12 different states this past month. The New York Times noted that one North Carolina congregation was temporarily evacuated over it.

This weekend, ADL CEO and National Director Jonathan A. Greenblatt said the incidents demonstrate of a rise in antisemitism and pledged to cooperate with local authorities in stopping them.

“ADL continues this evening to work with law enforcement and community partners to mitigate the ongoing disruption to Jewish prayer services, as well as additional targets, by a group of online trolls who swat and call in fake bomb threats,” Greenblatt stated.

“The trolls use highly antisemitic language in these calls,” he continued, adding that the trolls “appear to be targeting synagogues that livestream their services.”

The United States recorded the highest number of antisemitic incidents in 2022 since the ADL began tracking in 1979. The group attributed much of it to increased activity by white supremacist organizations.

Broken down, the ADL isolated 2,298 incidents of harassment, 1,288 incidents of vandalism, and 111 incidents of assaults — all of which shot up drastically from the year prior.

That includes the situation at the Beth Israel congregation in Colleyville, Texas, early last year, when an armed man held four members hostage during an 11-hour standoff with authorities.

All four eventually escaped before law enforcement shot and killed the man.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Luca Cacciatore

Luca Cacciatore is a writer at Newsmax based in Arlington, Virginia. He is an inaugural fellow at American Moment and previously served as chief editor of the New Conservatives publication.

© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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