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Allentown synagogue targeted as FBI investigates series of bomb threats in Pa.

Allentown Police Department, Allentown City Hall, Allentown Arts Park, Lehigh County Jail, prison, Allentown Center City, Lehigh valley
Donna S. Fisher
For LehighValleyNews.com
This is the Allentown Police Department in Allentown, Pa.. Picture made in March, 2023.

ALLENTOWN, Pa. — The FBI is investigating a series of bomb threats targeting Pennsylvania synagogues, including one in Allentown.

Authorities on Thursday cleared Congregation Sons of Israel, 2715 Tilghman St., after the synagogue received a threatening email, said the synagogue’s head of security, who didn’t want his name published.

The email indicated there were explosives in the building that would go off unless $50,000 was sent to a house in Hazleton, Luzerne County, and included an address, the security chief said.

Police and the Allentown Fire Department swept the synagogue and determined it was safe for people to return; four staff members were in the building when the email was received about 11:30 a.m., according to the head of security.

FBI spokeswoman Carrie Adamowski confirmed several synagogues in Pennsylvania and across the country were targeted.

She did not give a specific number but the Philadelphia Inquirer reported synagogues in Philadelphia and Newtown Township, Bucks County, also were affected.

“The FBI takes all threats seriously, especially those motivated by hate or bias,” Adamowski said.

“Although at this time no explosive devices related to these threats have been found, we continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners and will remain vigilant to protect our communities.”

“I’d rather not expand on it because it only encourages others, especially with the Internet.”
Congregation Sons of Israel security official

The security official at Congregation Sons of Israel, an Orthodox Jewish temple, said everyone was OK and functioning normally Friday.

“I’d rather not expand on it because it only encourages others, especially with the Internet,” he said.

It was at least the second unfounded bomb threat in Allentown since the Oct. 7 attack on Israel by Hamas.

Allentown authorities investigated a bomb threat at Congregation Keneseth Israel, 2227 W. Chew St., on Oct. 19 during a funeral service.

Said Adamowski: “We would like to remind members of the public that if they observe anything suspicious or have information about potential threats to report it to law enforcement immediately, call their local FBI field office, or submit a tip to tips.fbi.gov.”