CSS Deeply Concerned Over Reports of Plan to Attack a New York Synagogue, Carry Out Hate-Motivated Attacks Against Jews
New York, NY, July 29, 2022 … The Community Security Service (CSS) today expressed deep concern over reports that a former Marine, Matthew Belanger, was planning to attack a New York-area synagogue. According to reports, the FBI was leading an investigation on the suspicion that hate-motivated attacks could be carried out against a synagogue and members of the Jewish community, women and minorities. Belanger is allegedly being detained at a federal detention center in Honolulu and was arrested in New York in June.
Evan R. Bernstein, National Director and CEO of CSS, issued the following statement:
“While we await further details of this case, the level of alleged detail in the planning and training – both on the ground and online – to carry out a potential attack against the Jewish community is shocking and deeply disturbing. We appreciate the FBI and local law enforcement’s diligence and efforts to investigate this individual’s activity to make sure that our communities do not suffer from such vehement hate. These reports serve as another clear reminder that antisemitism poses a tangible threat to our community, which warrants all of us – from individuals to institutions – to prioritize our safety and security.”
About the Community Security Service (CSS):
CSS is the leading Jewish volunteer security organization in the United States. Founded in 2007, CSS was the first organization to bring to the United States a mindset long held by sister communities around the world, that protecting Jewish life and Jewish way of life starts with taking ownership of our own security. CSS is focused on training volunteers in basic security procedures to help protect their institutions and events across the country. Through programs developed by foremost industry security experts, and tailored to various levels of interest and ability, volunteers learn to identify suspicious activity and prevent and respond to potential threatening situations. Since its inception, CSS has created a national network of thousands of trained volunteers, which help to protect synagogues and events nationwide. Visit www.thecss.org.