Jewish centers of worship are on high alert after five synagogues in the St. Louis area received bomb threats. While we are not disclosing the names of the synagogues for security reasons, we can tell you that police did not find a bomb at any of the locations, three of which are in Creve Coeur.
The synagogues received an alarming email on Sunday morning.
“Individuals stating that there has been a device planted at the location,” Scott Biondo, director of community security for the Jewish Federation of St. Louis, said. “And you have this many hours, expressing a hatred for Jews.”
Biondo said the synagogues followed bomb threat protocols and contacted local authorities.
Officers secured each synagogue and used canine units from both Creve Coeur and St. Louis County police departments to conduct thorough searches. All the buildings were examined, and officers confirmed that there weren’t any immediate threats.
One synagogue in Columbia and another in Joplin also received bomb threats.
Police are working to identify the sender(s) of the threatening messages and to determine if there is any connection to similar statements received by other synagogues across the country in recent times.
“I’m certain that there’s connectivity in a number of these threats across the United States. That’s going to end up being the case. Whether they’re all connected?” Biondo said.
“We like to stay vigilant. But also stay the mission. We encourage our folks to not be dissuaded from coming to synagogue, but let us be responsible for the security piece.”
The Creve Coeur Police Department is still leading the investigation. A police spokesman said since Oct. 7, his department has had and will continue to have heightened patrols.
Biondo is also in close contact with all the Jewish centers in the St. Louis area, including not only synagogues but schools, social service organizations, and community organizations.