Terror threat and Chicago synagogues

1 Nov 2010 by CST

The news concerning explosive devices posted in Yemen and addressed to synagogues in Chicago has raised obvious concern about the potential for similar actions here in Britain. This latest threat is yet another example as to why Jewish communities throughout the world have to remain alert to the reality of terrorism.

The details of this particular threat are not yet entirely clear, but the assessment of the UK and US governments is that the devices were intended to explode whilst in mid-air transit.

The question persists as to why the two explosive devices were addressed to synagogues in Chicago (to be precise, a synagogue, and a church that hosts Shabbat services). In response to this, CST’s immediate reaction was to email security advice concerning post and packages to over 1,000 of our Jewish communal partners, including Jewish organisations and key individuals. (An abbreviated version of which was simultaneously posted here, on CST’s website.)

At this time, CST does not know of a specific threat to British Jews, relevant to the Yemen devices. Nevertheless, at this time, it remains far too early to state that these two devices mark the beginning and the end of this particular terror modus operandi. Furthermore, the danger of copy cat incidents occurring due to publicity around the devices cannot be ruled out.

For these reasons, CST urges the Jewish community to continue its existing high level of security response to the overall threat situation; and in particular, to ensure that security precautions around post and packages are rigorously followed.


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“It’s great to be able to show my support again for Community Security Trust and the brilliant work you do. On behalf of everyone here let me thank all the staff and volunteers who work so hard together with the Police and the wider community to protect the Jewish people and to make this charity as successful as it is today.I believe CST is a model for all our communities in Britain.”

David Cameron MP
Prime Minister