(JTA) – A swastika and the word “bomb” were found drawn inside the Jewish Community Center of Staten Island, New York.
No bomb was discovered in the building on Wednesday morning following a sweep by police, who reportedly are investigating the incident as a hate crime.
The incident came two days after 16 JCCs along the East Coast received bomb threats, leading to the evacuation of hundreds of people, including the elderly and schoolchildren, from the buildings.
“The unfounded threats that led to evacuations and police investigations have deeply unsettled Jewish community members,” Evan Bernstein, the Anti-Defamation League’s New York Regional director, said in a statement issued Thursday. “At this time, it is not known if the Staten Island threat is directly linked to other incidents that have afflicted JCCs across the East Coast.
“No community center should ever be subjected to bomb threats or hate symbols,” he said. “Although the threat was deemed to be not credible, these incidents create anxiety and fear and have zero place in our society. We commend the NYPD for swiftly investigating and for their ongoing work to make all communities across the city safer.”