HARRISBURG — Today, Attorney General Josh Shapiro released a letter he sent to top federal prosecutors in Pennsylvania and a state organization representing all district attorneys, offering the “full assistance and cooperation” of the Office of Attorney General to support any investigation into threats against Jewish community centers and places of worship in Pennsylvania.
In the past six weeks, synagogues in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia have been vandalized. The FBI and U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division are investigating similar incidents across the country.
On Monday, 11 Jewish community centers across the United States received bomb threats, all of which were eventually determined to be hoaxes. This year, a total of 54 Jewish community centers have received threats, sometimes multiple times.
“When any community is targeted with violence and intimidation, no Pennsylvanian is truly safe and our whole society is threatened,” Shapiro wrote in his letter to U.S. Attorneys and the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association.
“These attacks are an affront to the liberties our country and Commonwealth were founded to protect. They must not and cannot be allowed to stand and I appreciate the important work that you and your agency are doing to combat this threat.”
Shapiro sent the letter today to Louis D. Lappen, acting U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Soo C. Song, acting U.S. attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, and Bruce D. Brandler, U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.
The Attorney General’s letter was also sent to David Arnold, president of the state District Attorneys Association, representing the district attorneys in all 67 PA counties.
“I value the ongoing partnership between our respective offices, as well as with our local law enforcement partners in every county across Pennsylvania and we stand ready to support your efforts in any way possible to address these threats,” Shapiro wrote in the letter.