Lerner Officials Respond to Arrest in JCC Threats Case | News

Lerner Officials Respond to Arrest in JCC Threats Case


You might remember that on February 22, Durham's Sandra E. Lerner Community Day School was evacuated after a bomb threat was called in to the facility. The threat was one of dozens called in to Jewish centers across the country and, the INDY would learn later, detailed an impending "bloodbath."
A staff member answered. "In a short time," the unidentified voice on the other end of the line said, "a large number of Jews are going to be slaughtered." They would die, the caller continued, in a "bloodbath" courtesy of "a C-4 bomb with a lot of shrapnel."

School officials initiated their emergency protocols. The police were called. The building was evacuated. Fortunately, spring had come early to Durham, so it was mild outside and the sun was shining as the children—as young as two and up to to fifth grade—made their way to the school's designated safe zone. But that was little consolation to the parents on the other end of a robocall alerting them to the situation.
It has been more than a month since the Lerner bomb scare and, since the incident, two arrests have been made—including one in Israel a few days ago. From CNN:
A Jewish teenager was arrested [March 23] in connection with a series of bomb threats that have rattled Jewish institutions and community centers across the United States and other countries, Israeli police said.

A months-long international investigation led to the 19-year-old suspect, who used "advanced camouflage technologies" to cover his tracks, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.

The suspect holds dual American-Israeli citizenship, an Israeli security official told CNN. He was arrested in southern Israel after an undercover investigation with the FBI.
But despite the fact that the alleged culprit is Jewish, Lerner's board president, Hollis Gauss, was quick to note that the teen did not appear to have called in the threats as part of a political agenda. Here is the statement she sent to parents, in hopes that doing so would help dispel the "ages-old narrative that the Jewish community manufactures or overstates its own vulnerability."

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