US/World News

FBI: Extremist groups encourage spread of coronavirus to police, Jews

(JNS) Neo-Nazis and other racist extremist groups are “encouraging” those who have contracted COVID-19 to spread the virus to police officers and Jews “through bodily fluids and personal interactions,” the FBI said two weeks ago in an alert. The bureau warned local police agencies that extremists want their followers to use spray bottles to spread bodily fluids to police officers on the street and to spread coronavirus to Jews by going “any place they may be congregated.” Anti-government folks in America love to target law enforcement as a symbol of America’s authority,” said Don Mihalek, executive vice president of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association Foundation. “It’s just sad that that’s their focus at a time of crisis in the nation.” 

The Anti-Defamation League said in a report released in February that neo-Nazi and white supremacists are using fears associated with coronavirus to fuel hated against Jews and spread antisemitic conspiracy theories on social-media platforms. Michael Masters, head of the umbrella group Secure Communities Network, which coordinates security for Jewish organizations around the U.S., said that “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.” He added that “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.”

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