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HomeNewsBoston Officials Arrest Man Threatening to Bomb Jewish Synagogues

Boston Officials Arrest Man Threatening to Bomb Jewish Synagogues

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Boston Officials Arrest Man Threatening to Bomb Jewish Synagogues
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Boston officials arrested a man on January 29th, 2024, for making several threatening calls to Jewish people. According to the U.S. attorney’s office in Boston, they arrested the Massachusetts man for threatening to kill members of the state’s Jewish community and bombing local synagogues.

59-year-old John Reardon allegedly made rounds on January 25th, calling synagogues and Jewish organizations to threaten them. First, he allegedly called Congregation Agudas Achim in Attleboro, Massachusetts, leaving a voicemail saying he would kill congregants and bomb the synagogue. 

Federal authorities also disclosed that he said, “If you can kill the Palestinians, we can kill you.” About ten minutes later, Reardon allegedly made two other disturbing calls. He called another local synagogue and a Jewish organization.

Therefore, local authorities picked him up and kept him in the custody of the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office. They charged him with one count of using a facility of interstate commerce to threaten a person or place with harm via an explosive.

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ALSO READ: Students File Lawsuits in Fight Against Antisemitism at US Colleges

According to prosecutors, Reardon referenced the violence in Gaza, including demands to “end the genocide,” as well as references to killing children and bombing places of worship. Jodi Cohen, the special agent in charge of the FBI, Boston Division, spoke on this issue in a media release. 

“John Reardon is accused of using his words as a weapon, leaving a threatening message to frighten members of the Congregation Agudas Achim,” he said. “No one should have to fear becoming the victim of physical violence at the hands of an angry stranger.

While the FBI does not and will not police ideology, we take all threats to life seriously, and so should anyone thinking about making one.” With the charges against him, Reardon will appear in U.S. District Court in Boston. If the court convicts him, he faces a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000. 

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“The allegations here about the series of threats Mr. Reardon made against the Jewish community are deeply disturbing and reflect the increasing torrent of antisemitism across our country and right here in Massachusetts,” Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy said in a statement.

“The numbers do not lie — incidents of antisemitism and Islamophobia are spiking.” Since the October 7th Hamas attacks in 2023, antisemitism and Islamophobia have been at a record high. Therefore, Reardon’s calls are one of many signs of the rising problem. Several institutions are also reporting similar incidents, causing a lot of worry for the public. 

ALSO READ: DeSantis Offers Out-of-State Jewish Students Incentives to Study in Florida Amid Antisemitism Fears

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What’s more, people are getting attacks from all angles. Both groups that support Israel and Palestine now see each other as profound enemies, and this is causing a lot of friction. The Hamas attack cost 1,200 lives, mostly civilians. 

However, Israel’s retaliation has caused over 26,000 Palestinian deaths. Sadly, the vast majority of these victims were women and minors. The Israeli ministry does not distinguish between civilians and combatants in its count.

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