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Are you a soft target?

Machla Abramovitz

Trained ISIS cells sprouting up all over Europe have forced Jewish institutions on the Continent to become exceedingly vigilant. But there is no lack of lone-wolf extremists on the prowl on US soil, begging the question: How safe are American mosdos? That’s what administrators are asking as they scramble to secure a piece of the Homeland Security budget grant for nonprofits

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

While Belgium’s security apparatus is trying to save face following last week’s airport and subway terror attacks and security agencies across Europe are scrambling to connect the dots as ISIS opens new fronts involving hundreds of trained operatives, Jewish institutions all over are more wary than ever — even if they’re officially protected. American security agencies might have been quick to condemn their Brussels counterparts, but are institutions on US soil — and Jewish ones in particular — really more secure? The past few years have seen multiple cases of targeting Jewish institutions. There was the 2014 shooting by a white supremacist of the Overland Park Jewish Community Center in Kansas City, and the 2009 shooting at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. There have also been thwarted bomb plots, such as the 2009 attempt against the Riverdale Jewish Center and the Riverdale Temple, and an Islamist plot in 2011 to blow up the biggest synagogue in Manhattan. US intelligence agencies, though, are less concerned about the likelihood of an organized ISIS attack on Jewish targets, as extremist groups like ISIS and Al Qaida would likely choose more high profile American targets such as the Brooklyn Bridge — a plot uncovered in e-mails on the computer of Al Qaida tactician and Guantanamo detainee Khalid Shiek Mohammed. Of greater concern are the lone wolves, or what US intelligence calls homegrown violent extremists (HVEs) —individuals who are inspired by extremist ideologies but are not emissaries of an organized terror group.  


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