The Portland Police Bureau dispatched a bomb-defusal squad last night to the Mittleman Jewish Community Center, according to a press release this morning. No bomb or suspicious material was found.
It is the first confirmed threat against a Jewish center in the Portland area this year. Portland Police spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson says the bureau has been in contact with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
"It's disturbing that this is happening in our city," Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler adds in a statement to WW.
Recent weeks have seen a wave of threats and vandalism at synagogues, Jewish cemeteries and community centers around the country. Few arrests have been made and it appears many of the calls have been "spoofed," making the source of the threats difficult to trace.
President Donald Trump condemned these acts of "hate" in his address to Congress last week, yet a number of Jewish groups, including the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect, have accused him of anti-Semitism and linked the hate-crime campaign to a rising climate of xenophobia targeting not only Jews but Latinos, Muslims, blacks and basically anyone who isn't a rich white Christian man of a certain age.
However, the Portland Police Bureau says it is uncertain whether the threat at Mittleman was "in any way connected with other incidents across the country."
The full news release follows.
BOMB THREAT AT JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER ON MONDAY NIGHT UNDER INVESTIGATION
On Monday March 6, 2017, at 8:28 p.m., Central Precinct officers responded to the Mittleman Jewish Community Center, located at 6651 Southwest Capitol Highway, on the report of a bomb threat.
Officers contacted employees at the center and consulted with the Metropolitan Explosives Disposal Unit (Bomb Squad) on how to proceed with a safe search of the facility. Several officers walked with employees through the building and did not find any suspicious items requiring a Bomb Squad response.
At this point, it is not known if the threat to the Mittleman Jewish Community Center is in any way connected with other incidents across the country. The Portland Police Bureau is continuing to investigate and has been in communication with federal law enforcement regarding the incident.
Portland Police officers have regularly been providing extra patrol to the community center and other facilities after reports of threats occurring across the United States.
Anyone with information about this incident should email CrimeTips@portlandoregon.gov, reference case #17-67367.
Anyone receiving a bomb threat should immediately call 9-1-1.