Probing threats to Jewish centers top priority for FBI

The head of the Twin Cities FBI office says investigating bomb threats to Jewish institutions is a top priority.

Jewish community centers and other organizations in 43 states and overseas have received 140 threats since January 3, FBI Special Agent in Charge Rick Thornton said, including the Sabes JCC in St. Louis Park and the St. Paul JCC.

"We consider this a national investigation," Thornton said Wednesday. "From an FBI standpoint, we are utilizing resources all across the FBI, at the field office level as well as our headquarters components, the criminal investigative division, the cyber division."

The caller appears to be the same person and uses a voice-altering device, Thornton said.

Earlier this month, authorities charged former St. Louis journalist Juan Thompson with threatening at least eight Jewish institutions.

However, Thornton said Thompson is not suspected in the majority of the incidents.

MPR News is Reader Funded

Before you keep reading, take a moment to donate to MPR News. Your financial support ensures that factual and trusted news and context remain accessible to all.