The FBI sent out an alert to local law enforcement agencies on March 19 warning that white supremacists are hoping to infect Jews and police officers with coronavirus.
ABC News reports the alert stated that the white supremacists are aiming to target Jews at “any place they may be congregated, to include markets, political offices, businesses and places of worship.” According to Yahoo! News, white supremacists are also looking to infect cops through spray bottles, leaving saliva on door handles and committing crimes to leave items with coronavirus on them at the scene for detectives to handle.
The FBI declined to comment to ABC about the alert.
Michael Masters, who heads the Secure Communities Network that coordinates security measures for Jewish organizations, told ABC, “While the world faces a deadly pandemic, it’s a stark reminder that certain groups — notably the Jewish community and law enforcement — must also continue the battle against those who wish to hurt or kill them. As the economic situation remains fragile and civil society disrupted, the potential for the followers of hate to act becomes more likely … and more deadly.”
Nick Martin, who edits the news site Informant that focuses on hate groups, told Yahoo, “There is a big concern right now — including from people who work in counterterrorism — that it’s an opportune time for these accelerationist groups to strike.” Accelerationist groups are those who believe in “extremist attacks with the express goal of provoking a larger societal conflict,” per Yahoo.
The American Jewish Committee tweeted, “If you ever wondered whether a deadly pandemic would cause white supremacists to think about something other than harming Jews and law enforcement, you now have your answer. We thank our friends at the @FBI for their vigilance during these dangerous times.”
If you ever wondered whether a deadly pandemic would cause white supremacists to think about something other than harming Jews and law enforcement, you now have your answer. We thank our friends at the @FBI for their vigilance during these dangerous times.https://t.co/FLJtgZpzWo
— American Jewish Committee (@AJCGlobal) March 23, 2020
Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt told the Journal in a March 16 phone interview that white supremacists have been celebrating the rising number of coronavirus cases in Israel and are spreading a conspiracy theory that the virus is “is a bioengineering weapon that allowed ‘globalists’ to destroy the Western world.”