Local elected officals and law enforcement officers responded on Sunday to anonymous emailed bomb threats at multiple Jewish community centers throughout New York state, including one in Albany.
Speaking at a press conference outside the Sidney Albert Albany Jewish Community Center, where one threat was made, Gov. Andrew Cuomo thanked law enforcement officers for responding quickly to the threats, and working fast to evacuate the building and eventually declare the building safe.
According to New York State police officials, the threats were received at approximately 11:30 a.m. via email. Police said that the emails were sent directly to individuals who all had JCC affiliated email accounts.
After police were notified of the threats, troopers worked to clear the buildings. The Albany City Police Department, as well as the New York State Police, responded to the Albany JCC with bomb-sniffing dogs, and did not recover any explosives.
Cuomo noted in his remarks on Sunday afternoon that such anti-Semitic incidents had unfortunately been occurring more and more often across the state over the last few months. He called the attacks on all people, including Jews, African Americans, and the LGBTQ community, symptoms of a “contagion of hate all across this country.”
“These types of situations are so ugly and so unfortunate,” Cuomo said at the scene. “What’s worse is we’re seeing more and more of them. We’ve had about 42 incidents of anti-Semitism in this state this past couple of months so it’s not getting better. It’s only getting worse.”
Cuomo said there were threats made to about 18 JCCs in total, just one of them being in the Capital Region. Police on the scene would not comment further on the threats, saying only that they were being investigated.