Bomb threat faxed to Orthodox Jewish high school in New York

An Orthodox Jewish high school on Long Island, New York, was evacuated after receiving a bomb threat.

The bomb threat was faxed on Wednesday afternoon to the Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns and Rockaway, school leaders said in a letter to the school community posted on its Facebook page. The message said that a bomb had been planted on school property.

Following protocol, the school notified police and evacuated the building, taking the students to a nearby synagogue.

4th Police Precinct’s K-9 unit inspected the building and did not find any explosive device. The building was cleared and evening activities on the campus took place as usual, according to the letter.

Police are investigating to find out who sent the letter.

Last Thursday a US House of Representatives committee advanced a bill that would enhance penalties for threats on religious institutions, sparked by a wave of threats on Jewish community centers and other Jewish institutions earlier this year.

Among other measures, the bill and an identical one under consideration in the Senate adds the word “threatens” to existing laws that criminalize attacks and attempted attacks on religious institutions.

Most of the 162 bomb threats during the year are suspected of coming from an American-Israeli Jewish man living in Ashdod, Israel, who was arrested in March. In addition to Israeli charges, the suspect faces federal charges in the United States.

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