FBI Chief Says Agency on Alert for Threats to Jews Ahead of Passover

FBI director Christopher Wray on Wednesday said his agency is on alert for anti-Semitic hate crimes ahead of Passover, a week-long Jewish holiday that starts next Monday. 

“Today, we at the bureau remain particularly concerned that lone actors could target large gatherings, high-profile events, or symbolic or religious locations for violence—particularly a concern, of course, as we look to the start of Passover on Monday evening,” Wray said at a Wednesday event hosted by Jewish security organization Secure Community Network. 

The director, who was appointed by then-president Donald Trump in 2017, said the FBI’s investigations of anti-Semitic hate crimes have surged following Hamas’s Oct. 7 terrorist attack on Israel. 

“Between Oct. 7 and Jan. 30 of this year, we opened over three times more anti-Jewish hate crime investigations than in the four months before Oct. 7,” Wray said. “And of course, that’s on top of what was already an increase from the previous year.”

According to an Anti-Defamation League report released Tuesday, the number of anti-Semitic incidents in 2023—more than 8,800—was the highest ever recorded in a single year, marking a 140 percent increase overall and a 320 percent surge on college campuses compared with 2022.

The ADL report showed the Oct. 7 attack and the ensuing war in Gaza exacerbated anti-Semitic sentiments across the United States: The majority of the anti-Semitic incidents in 2023—around 60 percent overall and more than three-fourths of incidents on college campuses—occurred after Oct. 7. 

“Anti-Semitism is nothing short of a national emergency, a five-alarm fire that is still raging across the country and in our local communities and campuses,” ADL’s CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said.

Original News Source – Washington Free Beacon

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