Despite questions, Jewish groups focus on security

November 9, 2010

By Odette Yousef

Download Story

Jewish institutions in the Chicago area say that even if questions mount over whether or why they may have been targeted in a recent bomb plot, they’re re-examining their security practices. The recent scare involved packaged explosives that were mailed from Yemen and intercepted in London and Dubai. 

The packages were being sent to Jewish entities that no longer exist at those addresses. Federal officials have also said the devices were likely intended to explode in the planes carrying them. 
 
Still, Jay Tcath of the Jewish United Fund in Chicago, says Chicago’s Jewish community should take the threats seriously seriously. “We are looking, frankly, to exploit the attention span of the community,” said Tcath, “and review things which we have been talking to them about over the years, and in other instances to bring new information about security developments to their attention.”
 
Some of that new information centers on how to detect and handle suspicious mail packages, said Tcath. At a security briefing with federal officials on Monday night, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service shared tips with synagogue and Jewish institution leaders.
 
At the same security briefing, U.S. Representatives Jan Schakowsky and Jesse Jackson Jr. called on the Department of Homeland Security to hold public hearings to share findings of the investigation into the foiled attack.