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Bomb Threat Texted to Jewish Organization in Third Incident This Week: NYPD

By  Trevor Kapp and Aidan Gardiner | March 10, 2017 9:12am | Updated on March 10, 2017 1:45pm

 Friday's bomb threat was sent via text to the Jewish Association Services in Midwood, Brooklyn.
Friday's bomb threat was sent via text to the Jewish Association Services in Midwood, Brooklyn.
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DNAinfo/Trevor Kapp

MIDWOOD — Someone texted a bomb threat to a Jewish old-age organization in Brooklyn Friday morning, the third anti-Semitic bomb scare in the city since Tuesday, police said.

The threat was directed toward Jewish Association Services for the Aged at 1090 Coney Island Ave., near Foster Avenue, and came in about 8:45 a.m., an NYPD spokesman said.

A staffer there got the text before anyone was in the office and alerted the authorities, according Mona Finston, spokeswoman for JASA, a 49-year-old New York elder care organization.

"Staff were advised immediately report to another location," Finston said.

"Law enforcement advised that this threat, in all likely hood, was a hoax," she added.

Still, police evacuated the building as they investigated the threat, witnesses said.

Diana Marin, 54, had just gotten to work when she learned about the threat.

"Twenty minutes later, a co-worker said there was a bomb threat. I grabbed my stuff and ran out. I was thinking all kinds of stuff. It was really scary, especially with everything going on," Marin said.

"They should try to find the person putting out these calls. It's really not funny. It's people's lives," Marin added.

Building staff were allowed to return inside about 10:30 a.m.

It wasn't immediately clear who sent in the threat or if any explosives had been actually placed there.

Officials with JASA didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

It was the third such threat to Jewish organizations in the city this week.

On Tuesday, someone sent a threat to the Anti-Defamation League.

Another was emailed to the Jewish Children's Museum Thursday.

The city's threats come amid a rash of them throughout the country.

Local politicians have pledged to fight the spike in anti-Semitism and hope to devote city money to beefing up security at Jewish organizations throughout the city.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo launched a state investigation into the Midwood bomb threat, he announced less than three hours after the text came in.

"By threatening a place that serves our most vulnerable New Yorkers, this is a particularly appalling incident in the recent wave of hate and anti-Semitism that has afflicted our communities," the governor said.

"We are committed to bringing whoever is responsible for this egregious act to justice," Cuomo added.

The governor and Mayor Bill de Blasio are also offering $20,000 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of anyone behind the surge of hate crimes in New York, they said.

There have been more than 100 such crimes since Jan. 1, more than double the number from the same period in 2016, the leaders said.

"I have no doubt those responsible for these incidents will not be able to hide in the shadows for long," de Blasio said.

Those with information should call the state's toll-free hotline at (888)392-3644 or the NYPD's Crime Stoppers at (800)577-TIPS. They can also text "HATE" to 81336.