Suspicious Activity At Two Local Synagogues Puts NYPD On Terrorism Alert
Police are looking to speak to two men described as “Middle Eastern-looking” who locals say were acting suspiciously near two Ocean Parkway synagogues and attempting to take photographs of at least one of them on Saturday.
The men approached the front doors of Congregation Bet Yaakob on Ocean Parkway and Avenue R at approximately 4:15pm, as first reported by Yeshiva World News. They were captured by surveillance cameras looking at the front doors before being stopped by a security guard and asked to leave the premises. The guard wrote down a description of their vehicle, a blue Honda Accord with Delaware license plates.
According to the website:
After Shabbos, a member of the Shul showed the video to a member of another Sephardic Shul, and the individual stated that he also saw the same two men casing the Bet Torah Shul, which is located just a few blocks away on Ocean Parkway and Avenue K. Additionally, the two suspicious men drove off in a blue Honda Accord as well.
Members of the shul contacted the NYPD, and local pols said that the matter is being investigated by the anti-terrorism unit.
News 12 notes that officers from the Counterterrorism Bureau were stationed outside of the synagogue on Sunday morning.
Councilman Chaim Deutsch released the following statement:
“By now most of us have seen the security footage from a synagogue in our neighborhood of individuals taking footage of the building. Firstly, I want to thank the Commanding Officer of Patrol Borough Brooklyn South, Chief Steven Powers, the 66th precinct, and the NYPD Counter-Terrorism Bureau for their quick response and continued investigation into this suspicious activity. Unfortunately, in this day and age, our houses of worship and public places of assembly have become targets. As always, it is essential for residents to remain vigilant and immediately report anything out of the ordinary to the police. The NYPD is the best law enforcement agency in the world and they depend on the eyes and ears of the community to combat crime. If you see something, say something – report any suspicious activity promptly to 911.”
Assemblyman Dov Hikind told WCBS he did not believe the men’s explanation for being there:
“You have these two young men described as Middle Eastern background by the security office of each location. The same two individuals visiting during prayers, one of them says he wants to see what a prayer looks like,” Hikind said. “Something is not kosher.”
… “Those two individuals yesterday were not going to pray at the synagogue,” Hikind told WCBS 880. “We don’t take chances today. This day and age, with terrorism, with the threat, a couple of guys in Brooklyn arrested only a week ago or so — this is very, very serious, and hopefully the police will apprehend these two individuals and find out who they are and what they were planning and what their background is.”
Councilman David Greenfield tweeted:
Call 911 if you have any information regarding the men.
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