Antisemitic threats in Florida, including at 50 synagogues

Old City Hall in Boca Raton, Fla. Credit: Ebyabe via Wikimedia Commons.

(JNS) — More than 50 synagogues in Florida were targeted with bomb threats on June 18, WPLG reported.

The Coral Gables Police Department determined that the emailed threats were not credible, according to the ABC affiliate in Miami.

“Another sad day in America for the Jewish community. This new normal is disgusting and one that we, Jews, will refuse to accept,” wrote Bryan Leib, a Republican who is running against Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-Fla.) in Florida’s 25th congressional district.

“We will not back down,” Leib wrote. “We will not be afraid.”

JNS sought comment from the Coral Gables Police Department.

Arrest in South Florida

The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Department arrested Paul Thomas Morris, 26, on June 14 in Boca Raton, Fla., after two of his friends reported social-media threats to law enforcement.

When Detective C. Wells arrived at Morris’s residence, he spoke with the suspect’s roommate, who showed him social media postings of Morris’s that included vowing to attack a synagogue and murder all the Jews, according to a probable cause affidavit that the sheriff’s office shared with JNS.

Morris allegedly wrote on Instagram: “I want Hitler to come back to kill all the Jews.”

He allegedly added on Discord, another social-media platform, that “I’m shooting up a synagogue, yes all Jews,” and “If anyone is concerned about my well-being, this is where I am at: I want to scream ‘Kill all Jews’ at anyone I have ever known.”

The suspect’s roommate told the detective that Morris suffers from mental-health issues but had never before threatened violence, per the affidavit.

When Wells confronted Morris, the suspect said he knew why the detective was there and acknowledged that the two accounts in question belonged to him. He also conceded that the statements could be seen as threatening, according to the affidavit.

Morris reportedly described his psychological problems as “major depression.”

On June 15, a judge set Morris’s bail at $25,000, though he remained in jail on June 17, per WPTV.