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Jewish leaders express frustration with investigation into threats

NEW YORK More than 140 Jewish community centre leaders sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday expressing frustration with the progress made in identifying whoever is responsible for this year’s wave of bomb threats against Jewish interests.

The letter, sent by the JCC Association of North America and signed by 141 of the group’s leaders, came as two more community centres received threats of violence on Wednesday. On Tuesday, a fresh round of threats were received by more than a dozen Jewish organizations, bringing the total to approximately 140 after five previous waves. [nL2N1GK16R]

“We are frustrated with the progress in resolving this situation,” the leaders wrote. “We insist that all relevant federal agencies, including your own, apply all the resources available to identify and bring the perpetrator or perpetrators, who are trying to instill anxiety and fear in communities across the country, to justice.”

On Wednesday, a Jewish center in West Hartford, Connecticut, received an emailed threat early in the morning, while another center in Louisville was evacuated after a phoned-in threat arrived around noon, according to local media reports. A Vancouver center also received a bomb threat late on Tuesday night.

As with all the previous threats, the latest incidents were determined to be hoaxes.

Federal authorities have made one arrest, charging a disgraced former journalist, Juan Thompson, last week with cyber stalking for making at least eight threats nationwide. Thompson is accused of trying to blame the threats on an ex-girlfriend as part of a harassment campaign. [nL2N1GG0LB]

A Justice Department spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment regarding the letter.

(Reporting by Joseph Ax; Editing by Tom Brown)