FCC Evaluating How to Help Curb Rash of Anti-Semitic Bomb Threats


PAI at MWC

The Federal Communications Commission is looking into how it can help law enforcement track down people using anonymous phone numbers to make bomb threats against Jewish community enters (JCCs) and schools nationwide, an agency spokesman said March 1.

“These threats have instilled fear and disrupted lives throughout the United States, and Chairman Pai condemns such anti-Semitic acts in the strongest possible terms,” FCC spokesman Neil Grace said in an email.

Grace was responding to a Feb. 28 letter from the Senate’s top Democrat, Charles Schumer (N.Y.), who asked the FCC to grant special waivers to let JCCs and law enforcement trace anonymous caller information for individuals phoning in threats.

Schumer noted that Republican FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s predecessor, Democrat Tom Wheeler, provided a similar waiver in 2016 to a school district in Middletown, NY.

On February 27, there were 31 incidents of bomb threats called into 23 JCCs and eight Jewish day schools in 11 states, according to the Jewish Community Center Association of North America.

More than 100 anti-Semitic threats have been made against JCCs and Jewish daycare facilities since the beginning of the year, the JCCA said. Many Jewish community centers serve as schools, daycare facilities and general community centers, and have had to be evacuated after threats.

Schumer also asked the FCC to tell him what resources the FCC can provide to law enforcement to help them crack down on attacks against JCCs.

More than 150 members of Congress have also called on federal law enforcement to do what they can to protect Jewish community members and track down and prosecute anyone threatening JCCs and other Jewish organizations.