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IMMINENT WARNING: JEWISH SCHOOL ATTACKS INDICATE GROWING THREAT OF ANTI-SEMITIC VIOLENCE IN MONTREAL

November 12, 2023

Ektoras Papadimitriou, William Bos, Hae Lim Park, Maria Laka, Extremism & NORTHCOM Teams

Christina Valdez, Editor; Radhika Ramalinga Venkatachalam, Senior Editor


Montreal, Canada[1]


Event: On Sunday, November 12, 2023, unidentified gunmen fired shots at the Yeshiva Gedola Jewish school for the second time in four days in Montreal, Canada.[2] This is the third such incident targeting Jewish schools in the city within a week.[3] Local police are investigating, but no suspects have been apprehended. Since the Israel-Hamas conflict began, local police have reported 73 hate crimes and 25 incidents targeting the Jewish and Arab-Muslim communities, respectively.[4]


Significance: The current conflict between Israel and Hamas has escalated violence, with both sides launching attacks, resulting in a notable increase in violent incidents against communities perceived to support opposing factions in the war. Hostilities in Palestine and Israel are very likely to continue and will almost certainly lead to renewed threats and attacks against Jewish schools, synagogues, and other affiliated institutions. Assailants will very likely attempt to vandalize these targets by spray painting anti-Semitic messages to instigate fear. They will likely use homemade explosives such as Molotov cocktails and firearms to carry out attacks, very likely under the cover of darkness to avoid law enforcement. Increased police presence around these buildings at night will likely limit the number of attempted attacks. Such incidents are unlikely to cease due to the heightened tensions surrounding events in Palestine. It is likely that assailants surveil potential police presence around their targets to circumvent identified patrol routines. Attacks against the Jewish community will very likely be organized through social media, likely heightening law enforcement monitoring of social media platforms primarily used by anti-Semitic organizations. Private and encrypted chat groups have likely formed to execute planned attacks against the Jewish community to avoid detection by law enforcement. Digital slogans and anti-Semitic messages will likely circulate on social media platforms, likely fueling the spread of hate messages and violence against the Jewish community.


Recommendations

  • The Counterterrorism Group recommends enhancing the security in other Jewish communities in Canada.

  • CTG recommends that schools, communities, and businesses be vigilant and adopt a “see something, say something” strategy to report any suspicious activities to take measures against potential attacks or targeting against the Jewish community.

  • CTG recommends that individuals who use social media platforms verify their posts through fact-checking and selective sourcing to avoid spreading disinformation and misinformation.

  • CTG recommends that Canadian law enforcement establish significant distance between gathering points of the Jewish community and pro-Palestinian protests in Canada to guarantee the safety and security of all citizens.

  • CTG recommends that representatives and leaders of both the Jewish and Arab communities in Canada engage in dialogue to address their respective concerns and guarantee the peace and security of its members in Canada. CTG recommends that these spaces be mediated by government representatives.

  • If there is any additional and or critical information please contact us at The Counterterrorism Group (CTG) by Telephone 202-643-2848 or email info@counterterrorismgroup.com

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[2] Hate condemned after Montreal Jewish school struck by gunfire for 2nd time this week, CBC News, November 2023, https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/montreal-jewish-school-gunfire-1.7026640

[3] Shots fired at Jewish school in Canada again, amid tensions over overseas conflict, Reuters, November 2023, https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/shots-fired-jewish-school-canada-again-amid-tensions-over-overseas-conflict-2023-11-12/

[4] Hate condemned after Montreal Jewish school struck by gunfire for 2nd time this week, CBC News, November 2023, https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/montreal-jewish-school-gunfire-1.7026640

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