Currents News Staff
For nearly 11 hours inside Congregation Beth Israel in Texas, four people were held hostage by an active shooter. Months before the heist became a reality, synagogue members took active shooter training lessons.
“It absolutely saved our lives,” said synagogue hostage survivor Jeffrey Cohen. “We escaped and we escaped because we kept presence of mind, because we made plans, because we strategically moved people.”
The Anti-Defamation League warns attacks on Jewish people are on the rise. The agency says the majority of the anti-semitic incidents involve harassment and vandalism. But there have also been assaults and at least six times since 2016, they’ve been deadly.
As the FBI continues to investigate what happened in Texas, the bureau’s deputy director and a top official with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) warn: “Faith based communities have and will likely continue to be targets of violence by both domestic violent extremists and those inspired by foreign terrorists”
DHS points out online forums linked to domestic violent extremists have referenced Jewish targets tied to conspiracy theories about COVID-19, the outcome of the 2020 election, along with the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan and resettlement of Afghans to the U.S.
It’s why they’re urging faith-based communities to look at their security with a critical eye. Homeland Security has plans to work with Congress to increase funding so faith-based communities around the United States can upgrade their security.