The US Federal Bureau of Investigation warned of a “broad threat” to synagogues across New Jersey in a statement Thursday, sparking alarm and promises of increased police protection at Jewish places of worship.

“The FBI has received credible information of a broad threat to synagogues in NJ,” the security agency tweeted. “We ask at this time that you take all security precautions to protect your community and facility. We will share more information as soon as we can. Stay alert.”

The law enforcement agency added that it was “taking a proactive measure with this warning while investigative processes are carried out.”

New Jersey is home to an estimated 500,000 Jews, with major Orthodox population hubs in Lakewood, Passaic, Toms River and Teaneck, and congregations of all denominations in most cities and towns across the state.

The Lakewood Shomrim, a Jewish neighborhood security group, said it was patrolling the area with a focus on synagogues, schools and wedding halls and was coordinating with law enforcement.

“We urge the community not to panic but remain vigilant at the same time,” the group told The Times of Israel, calling on the public to report anything out of the ordinary to police and the Shomrim.

Read more at Times of Israel

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