... and now Lon­don and Syd­ney tar­geted

The Jewish Chronicle - - FRONT PAGE - BY DANIEL SUGARMAN

THE JEWISH Mu­seum in Lon­don was evac­u­ated on Mon­day af­ter re­ceiv­ing a hoax bomb threat, lead­ing to fears of copy­cat tar­get­ing of Jewish in­sti­tu­tions in Bri­tain and else­where.

The mu­seum re­ceived a phone call at around mid­day, which led to the premises be­ing cleared. Around 100 peo­ple, in­clud­ing chil­dren from two schools, were in the build­ing at the time.

Ear­lier the same day, the Syd­ney Jewish Mu­seum in Aus­tralia was closed af­ter re­ceiv­ing a bomb threat — while Jewish com­mu­nity cen­tres across the US were be­ing hit by a wave of hoax bomb threats.

As yet, no explosive de­vices have been found in any of these in­ci­dents.

Mark Gard­ner, CST com­mu­ni­ca­tions di­rec­tor, said: “It is a com­pli­cated sit­u­a­tion with lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional as­pects.

“The cur­rent threats to Jewish cen­tres in Amer­ica are well-known, but sim­i­lar prob­lems were faced by UK schools, both Jewish and non-Jewish in Fe­bru­ary 2016 and again in Jan­uary 2017.

“It is not cur­rently known how many of these threats are prop­erly in­ter­con­nected at source, or are copy­cat-type in­ci­dents.”

Am­ber Rudd, Home Sec­re­tary, spoke of the im­por­tance of CST’s ef­forts to pro­tect the com­mu­nity dur­ing the char­ity’s an­nual din­ner on Wed­nes­day.

“We only need to look at re­cent events — bomb hoaxes and the des­e­cra­tion of Jewish graves in Amer­ica and the evac­u­a­tion of the Jewish Mu­seum fol­low­ing a bomb threat — to know how important this type of work is,” she said.

A Jewish Mu­seum spokesper­son con­firmed the evac­u­a­tion had been “a pre­cau­tion fol­low­ing a se­cu­rity alert.

“We work closely with the po­lice and CST on our se­cu­rity pro­ce­dures and were able to evac­u­ate the build­ing quickly and safely.”

Abi­gail Mor­ris, di­rec­tor of the Jewish Mu­seum, said: “We take the safety of our staff and vis­i­tors ex­tremely se­ri­ously. This in­ci­dent un­der­lines how vi­tal our work is. We wel­come thou­sands of vis­i­tors to the Jewish Mu­seum ev­ery year, in­clud­ing 20,000 school­child­ren — 95 per cent of whom are not Jewish.

“We chal­lenge prej­u­dice and com­bat an­ti­semitism by break­ing down bar­ri­ers and build­ing bridges.”

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