New York City police have increased patrols around Brooklyn synagogues in the wake of a disturbing incident this past Saturday that was later deemed “a false alarm.”
Two “Middle Eastern-looking” men were seen walking up to the entrance of the Beth Torah synagogue on Ocean Parkway in Midwood,local news media reported.
They appeared to examine the video camera and then photograph the front of the building before a security guard on patrol outside the synagogue showed up. After recording their vehicle information and license plate number (they were driving a blue Honda Accord) he told them to leave.)
Both were seen again an hour later, this time in front of another synagogue a short distance away, according to reports. Both houses of worship serve the neighbor’s Syrian Jewish community.
According to New York City’s Channel 7 Eyewitness News, NYPD later determined the men were “no threat” and the incident was “a false alarm.”
Recently three Brooklyn men of Uzbekistani descent were arrested in connection with suspicion of providing support to Daesh, also known as ISIS, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria terror organization. One of the men was arrested at JFK International Airport just prior to boarding a flight, allegedly to join the terrorist organization in Syria. A second was arrested in Brooklyn. The third was taken into custody in Florida and was transferred back to New York for arraignment on the charges.
As a result, demand for security guards at Jewish community events, particularly in the Sephardic community, has grown in Brooklyn. Terror attacks on Jewish sites abroad have also raised tensions in the community and sparked a rise in demand for security at synagogues and general events.
Rabbi Uziel Admoni of Congregation Bnai Yosef has launched a new initiate to arrange security teams to serve synagogues, schools, banquet halls, and private events held at homes or elsewhere in Brooklyn’s large Sephardic community, according to Community Magazine.