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Anti-Semitic Incidents, Plots Remain High in U.S., Report Says

In the year since the attack on the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, there have been at least 12 white supremacists arrested for their alleged roles in plotting, threatening, or carrying out anti-Semitic attacks in the United States, according to new data from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

The latest data from ADL’s Center on Extremism shows that the United States continues to experience record-high numbers of anti-Semitic incidents nationwide. In the first six months of 2019, there were 780 anti-Semitic incidents, compared to 785 incidents in the same period in 2018.

According to the ADL, white supremacist-involved incidents targeting Jewish institutions or property since the Pittsburgh shooting include 12 instances of vandalism using white supremacist symbols and 35 incidents of white supremacist propaganda distribution.

Many of the cases the ADL counted, including a 2019 shooting at a synagogue in Poway, California, were inspired by previous white supremacist attacks, the New York Times reports.

The ADL’s Center on Extremism shared intelligence with law enforcement in at least three of the cases it counted, including warning officials about threats made online about potential attacks.

An additional 30 incidents fueled by “unknown ideology” targeted Jewish institutions with acts of arson, vandalism, or distribution of propaganda deemed to be anti-Semitic or “generally hateful.” According to the ADL report, “these incidents include the shooting of an elderly man outside a synagogue in Miami, fires set at multiple Jewish institutions in New York and Massachusetts, Molotov cocktails thrown at synagogue windows in Chicago, damaged menorahs in Georgia and New Jersey, as well as a wide range of anti-Semitic graffiti.”

The Pittsburgh shooting on 27 October 2018 left 11 people dead and seven (including the suspect) injured. Congregation officials at the Tree of Life Synagogue said the building will be reopened, and they plan to create classrooms, exhibits, a memorial, and host educational and social events, according to CBS News.

Read more about the international rise of extremism and hate groups in “Extremist Attacks Rise as Polarization Increases” from Security Management. As threats against houses of worship grow more complex, congregations are seeking new funding streams and security strategies; read more in “House of Worship Security Funding Extends Beyond Grants.”