The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is on heightened alert in response to concerns about potentially violent protests in response to an alleged call by Hamas for a worldwide day of “solidarity” following its terrorist attacks on Israel that sparked war in the region.
“We are conducting extra patrol checks and supplementing additional personnel from detective division and specialized units to have high visibility in strategic locations throughout the county. Additionally, we are reaching out to our local religious communities to reassure them during this tumultuous time,” sheriff’s officials said in a statement.
“We urge the community who attend demonstrations to remain calm and peaceful. The safety and security of all our communities is our number one priority. We remind residents to stay vigilant and report anything suspicious to local law enforcement officials,” according to the sheriff’s statement.
Various other local law enforcement agencies also issued statements with similar themes of enhanced patrols, calls for vigilance by residents and insistence that there are no known credible threats in the area.
FBI Director Christopher Wray said the agency was aware of information spreading via the Internet about an alleged “Hamas call for action or demonstrations” and it was working to confirm the validity of such a call.
“We cannot and do not discount the possibility that Hamas or other foreign terrorist organizations could exploit the conflict to call on their supporters to conduct attacks here on our own soil,” Wray said. The New York Times reported that national security officials held a call with about 4,000 law enforcement officials across the nation to discuss the concerns.
The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles circulated a message to local organizations this week, again assuring that there is “no known credible threat to the Los Angeles Jewish community at this time.” However, the organization advised local Jewish groups and residents to be aware of their surroundings, avoid protest areas, call 911 if they feel endangered and report suspicious activity to police.