Institutions Politics

White powder, threat sent to Colorado Jewish center, synagogue

RNS Anti-Semitism graphic by Tiffany McCallen. Click to view full size.

DENVER (Reuters) Workers at a Jewish community center and a nearby synagogue in Colorado opened envelopes on Monday containing a white substance and at least one threatening message, police said.

The Boulder Jewish Community Center was evacuated after a letter was found to hold white powder, which was later declared harmless, along with a note that read: “your (sic) have enemies,” police said.

RNS Anti-Semitism graphic by Tiffany McCallen. Click to view full size.

RNS Anti-Semitism graphic by Tiffany McCallen. Click to view full size.

“When deputies arrived on scene they evacuated the building, quarantined the office, the people who were in contact with the envelope, and the envelope itself,” said Commander Heidi Prentup, spokeswoman for the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office.

About three hours later, police said, a similar envelope was opened at the Congregation Har HaShem synagogue, some two miles south of the community center.

Employees there told officers a white substance fell out of an envelope as they were opening mail outside the Reform synagogue, Boulder Police Department spokeswoman Kim Kobel said.

She said the substance was tested and likewise was found to be non-toxic. The building was searched and nothing suspicious was found, she added.

She said it was not immediately clear whether the envelope opened at the synagogue also contained a threat. She said it was handed to the FBI, which is investigating alongside the two Boulder law enforcement agencies and the U.S. Postal Service.

Special Agent Amy Sanders, a spokeswoman for the FBI in Denver, said there is no information leading the bureau to believe there is a health or safety threat to the public.

The envelopes were received during the Jewish holiday of Passover, when Jews commemorate their liberation from bondage in ancient Egypt.

The Boulder community center hosts a kindergarten, as well as cultural and educational programs that make it a “central address for Jewish life in Boulder County,” according to its website.

The center’s leadership team posted a statement online about the incident, saying it takes all threats seriously.

“We place the safety and well-being of our community as our highest priority,” it said.

Last month a Missouri white supremacist pleaded not guilty to capital murder charges in the fatal shooting last April of three people outside two Jewish centers in a Kansas City suburb.

Frazier Glenn Cross Jr., 74, a former senior member of the Ku Klux Klan who has repeatedly made derogatory remarks in the courtroom about Jewish people, could face the death penalty if convicted.

(Reporting by Keith Coffman; Editing by Daniel Wallis, Richard Chang and Eric Walsh)

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  • False Flag – depend on it. The envelope was sent by one of the sick fundamentalist “christians” that populate Colorado. It was probably a follower of that nut Kleinschmidt who used to be a chaplain at the AFA.

  • “The envelope was sent by one of the sick fundamentalist “christians” that populate Colorado.”

    I did not read this in the article. Have you a source to share, Daniel Berry, NYC?

  • A false flag means an attack planned by someone associated with the victim to make it seem like an attack by an enemy. What you’ve described is the opposite of that. Klingenschmitt (to whom I think you’re referring) is not exactly known as a friend of the Jews these days.

  • I appreciated reading Rabbi Salkin’s recent RNS article about “stopping the war against Christians” (in other countries), but the fact is that there is a war against BOTH Christians and Jews, going on right here in America.

    The war against American Christians is mostly legal and economic (but not always!). Unfortunately, the war against American Jews is worse.

    Armed security (and I don’t mean armed flashlights and cellphones, I mean some fresh juicy Taurus Raging Judge business!!) is an appropriate response to all these threats.

  • (That is, an appropriate response for all threats of **violence** or **white powder** business.
    Gotta specify EVERYTHING these days!!!)

  • This incident, and others similar around the world, is the work of the devil and his followers. It is sickening as to what Jewish people and Christians have to put up with. Is anyone aware that the German Government is actually allowing mein kamf to be reprinted? True Christians and devout Jewish folks are being mercilessly attacked at many different levels. THERE CAN NEVER BE ANOTHER HOLOCAUST. Christians and Jewish people MUST work together to stop these outrageous attacks!! Peace loving Muslims are being attacked by people that think that all Muslims are terrorists! All of the hate groups need to take stock of themselves, and, look hard into a mirror. Surely, these folks are not properly educated. Their opinions are more times than not, hearsay. These misguided folks must have nothing else to do, other than automatically condemning and chosen to hate people that they don’t even know. Pray for them.

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