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Hamden police step up patrols near synagogue after bomb threat

Congregation Mishkan Israel, as seen from Ridge Road in Hamden on October 6, 2023.
Ryan Caron King
Connecticut Public
Congregation Mishkan Israel, as seen from Ridge Road in Hamden on October 6, 2023.

Hamden police are stepping up patrols near a synagogue forced to evacuate as a result of a bomb threat on Thursday.

Hamden Mayor Lauren Garrett said the city is working with federal law enforcement officials over the threat.

“Our police department communicated with the FBI to make sure that they were aware of the bomb threat,” Garrett said.

The threat, which was sent via email, comes amid a rise in bias and hate incidents throughout the tri-state area, according to the Anti-Defamation League, which announced its findings earlier this year.

The threat in Hamden was directed at the Congregation Mishkan Israel, which reopened after a bomb squad from the Hamden Police Department searched the building, Garrett said. As of Friday, no arrests had been made.

The synagogue released a statement Thursday.

“Everyone is safe and we are back in operation,” it said. “The Hamden police are doing outstanding work. They are continuing an investigation. We have no additional information at this time.”

While no one was hurt, Democratic State Rep. Mary Welander, whose district Sincludes Hamden, said minor incidents can quickly spiral if no one takes action against such actions.

Welander referred to the ADL’s so-called H.E.A.T. map where Connecticut has seen a rise in hate and bias incidents over the last two years.

Most incidents are relatively minor, with leaflets being distributed statewide.

She said a bomb threat could potentially lead to more security precautions, referring to a previous threat directed at the Jewish Community Center in Woodbridge.

“Security has stepped up, there has been community conversations about safety, about reporting,” Welander said.

As for any potential suspects, while no one has been identified, both Welander and Garrett characterized the threat as a hate incident.

Hateful fliers were distributed in Hamden earlier this year.

Garrett said the group or person responsible for this wants to get attention for these acts, but she’s not falling for their bait.

“I really try not to give this more attention than is necessary, because the hate groups really feed off of it,” she said.

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