US Cities Enhance Security Around Places of Worship Following Israel Attacks, Reassure Residents of No Credible Threats

In the wake of a large-scale attack by Gaza militants on Israel, American cities are bolstering security measures around places of worship while reassuring residents that there are currently no credible threats within the United States.

The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security issued “public safety concern” bulletins on Saturday to inform state and local law enforcement agencies that they are monitoring the situation for any potential impact on the domestic threat environment. However, they emphasized that there is no “current specific intelligence indicating a threat to the United States.”

This increased vigilance in the US comes after Gaza militants launched a surprise attack on Israel, involving the firing of thousands of rockets and incursions into Israel by land, sea, and air. In response, Israel initiated airstrikes on Gaza and engaged in ground clashes with Hamas fighters.

In Israel, officials have reported at least 300 casualties and numerous injuries, while in Gaza, the Palestinian health ministry has reported at least 232 deaths and over 1,600 injuries.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams stated on Saturday that there are no specific or credible threats against the city’s Jewish community, which hosts the largest Jewish population outside of Israel. He directed the NYPD to deploy additional resources to Jewish communities and houses of worship to ensure safety.

Meanwhile, New York Governor Kathy Hochul is collaborating with Israel’s Acting Consul General in New York and the US Embassy in Jerusalem to assist New Yorkers currently in Israel. She has also instructed the New York State Police to work with local law enforcement to ensure the safety of Jewish community spaces.

In neighboring New Jersey, the attorney general announced increased patrols across the state, especially around houses of worship for both the Jewish and Islamic faiths, despite there being no credible safety threat.

Houston, Texas, Mayor Sylvester Turner announced heightened security measures at synagogues and other potential venues.

In Washington, DC, police will have “increased visibility” near places of worship, although there are no credible threats in the District at present, according to spokesman Sean Hickman.

On the West Coast, the Los Angeles Police Department will conduct additional patrols in Jewish and Muslim communities. Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass expressed solidarity with affected families in the region.

President Joe Biden has condemned the assault on Israel by Hamas terrorists and assured Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of the United States’ readiness to provide support.

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