October 28-29, 2023
Victoria Valová, Magdalena Breyer, Ignacio Minuesa, Kiara Alexander, Chloe Woodbine, Lydia Baccino, Extremism and NORTHCOM Teams
Christina Valdez, Editor; Evan Beachler, Senior Editor
Cornell University Seal
Event: Anonymous online threats, stating the individuals will “bomb jewish house,” “follow them home and slit their throats,” and “bring an assault rifle to campus and shoot all you pig jews,” were posted on Greekrank on October 28-29. Authorities dispatched law enforcement personnel to safeguard a kosher dining hall and a Jewish center, in Ithaca, New York, to increase security for Jewish groups both on and off campus. The university decided not to cancel any classes and offered the option to follow lectures through Zoom. Police have taken the suspect into custody for questioning.
Significance: Due to the ongoing Israel-Palestine war, anti-Semitic threats and violence are rising in the US. The unlikely nature of a ceasefire in the upcoming weeks will almost certainly prompt an increase in anti-Semitic threats and attacks against the Jewish population and Jewish institutions for the foreseeable future. Universities and colleges in states with large Jewish populations will likely become targets of further anti-Semitic attacks because of the large population to garner significant reactions. The presence of Jewish university groups almost certainly presents a clear target for anti-Semitic attacks as information regarding these groups is accessible to the general public, including meeting locations, meeting times, and the group’s ethos. The open-access campus makes these educational institutions likely targets for individuals to act out their frustrations of the Israeli-Palestinian war. The security measures implemented by Cornell University, like the enhanced security personnel presence resulting from these threats, will likely deter in-person violent attacks. Threats will likely continue online, or acts of vandalism will occur at Cornell and other universities across the US.
The use of social media apps and the misinformation surrounding the conflict is almost certainly enabling anti-semitism and islamophobia online. The lack of online content moderation almost certainly makes it possible for anti-Semitic threats to be recirculated online and gain further engagement. University-related group chats and online forums will very likely continue to be areas for posted hate speech and circulated in order to fuel tensions between students. People who do not attend these educational institutions will likely initiate hate speech on university-related websites and social media to avoid repercussions.
The Counterterrorism Group (CTG) recommends that Jewish students at US universities and colleges listen to authorities for safety directions, including reviewing security procedures and remaining alert for suspicious behaviors.
CTG recommends that Cornell University students stay informed about any developing security situations and follow the direction of local authorities.
CTG recommends that all universities and colleges implement an increased security presence. Security protocols that should be in place include the use of metal detectors, increased campus security patrols, and the use of student and staff ID passes to enter buildings on campus. These protocols would provide security and law enforcement with an accurate list of people on campus and alert officers of anyone trying to gain unlawful access.
CTG recommends that law enforcement monitor social media closely for any planned gatherings of pro-Israel and pro-Palestine protests on US college campuses.
CTG recommends that Jewish individuals at Cornell University and other US college campuses avoid publicizing locations and times of community gatherings and events online.
CTG recommends that law enforcement monitor synagogues and Jewish community centers in Ithaca, New York, for possible threats.
If there is any additional and or critical information please contact us at The Counterterrorism Group (CTG) by Telephone 202-643-2848 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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 Posts Online Threaten Jewish Students and Center for Jewish Living, The Cornell Daily Sun, October 2023, https://cornellsun.com/2023/10/29/posts-online-threaten-jewish-students-and-center-for-jewish-living/
 Online antisemitic threats unnerve Jewish students and spark condemnation at Cornell University, AP, October 2023, https://apnews.com/article/cornell-university-antisemitic-threats-jewish-students-e9b58a4d42a44155a4631940cd555009