(CSS) The Community Security Service (CSS) 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.”