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Synagogue Leaders Briefed About Terror Concerns

At a closed-door meeting Tuesday in Syosset, federal officials discuss security options available to local organizations.

Federal law enforcement officials held a closed-door meeting on Tuesday with leaders of numerous area synagogues to discuss the potential of terrorist threats during the upcoming High Holidays.

Reps. Peter King (R-Seaford) and Steve Israel (D-Dix Hills) were joined by security experts from the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security at the in Syosset. The meeting was planned in advance of and unrelated to the attack on the on Sunday.

But in interviews after the meeting, Israel and King said Tuesday's session was in response to credible evidence that terrorist cells are active in the United States and have the capability of striking U.S. targets. Synagogues and other Jewish institutions are "obvious targets," Israel said.

Both men stressed there is no specific evidence of a threat against any Long Island institution. The meeting, they said, was precautionary.

"What makes this year different is Iran," King said in an interview. "We have to assume there is a greater chance of attack."

King said terrorist cells affiliated with Hezbollah have already made attacks inside the U.S. and remain a threat to Americans.

Hezbollah is an Islamic militant group based in Lebanon that receives financial and political support from Iran and Syria. Its military wing has had long-standing struggles with the state of Israel. Perhaps its most notorious act against the United States was the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing that killed 241 U.S. Marines.

Rep. Israel said Tuesday's meeting was in response to elevated concerns about general terror threats in the United States and ways local synagogues can be more prepared during the High Holidays.

"We are reminded by recent events that there are people who want to do harm to synagogues and the Jewish community and others," Israel said. "It is better to be prepared than to panic."

Both Israel and King said local synagogues and other institutions can requests security assessments by the Office of Homeland Security. Federal agents will inspect local synagogues, community centers and similar public places to assess whether further security measures are called for.

"It's a way of making the community more secure," said King, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee and a member of the House Intelligence Committee.

"We want people to know they have a direct line to police agencies and they should get their own security assessments," King said.

Laura August 09, 2012 at 05:33 AM
Peter king is doing his job. That was the job, he was elected to do. To keep America safe. Jewish people have a long history. Their are some people who hate them, WHY? If they need protection, we should protect them. If you were afraid, you also have a right to be protected. People just WALK in to our country ! What is their real name ? Is that their real social security number ( or someone elses ? Do they have a record ? That worries me. 911 changed everything for us. We are a less trusting and more alert. I think better safe than sorry. You should thank Peter King for the good job he is doing. I also think everyone has a legal right to carry a gun, as long as it is legal. I do not have a gun, but you can. Laura
Eileen Coles August 10, 2012 at 12:14 PM
The only "security" Peter King and most of the Bush boondoggle that is the Department of Hopeless Insecurity are truly concerned with is JOB SECURITY. It's a protection racket! The whole nation is suffering - jobs lost, homes lost, and many good young men and women dead or maimed for a lie while these creeps stuff their pockets with bribes, kickbacks and misappropriated government funds. Stop the madness, America!
Paraderest August 10, 2012 at 01:12 PM
Pete King is doing his job? Does that include welcoming Salvador Sanchez Ceren, an obvious enemy of the USA, to our country? Seren was Commanding General of the FMLN, which was responsible for thousands of brutal civilian deaths during The Salvadorian civil war. Ceren openly celebrated the deaths of thousands of Americans in the days following the September 11 terror attacks. Seren is a radical Marxist and should never have been celebrated by Andrew Hardwick, Ed Mangano and Pete King in the last few days. It's absolutely disgusting.
Eva Butler August 10, 2012 at 01:44 PM
Paraderest, I back you up on your statement. I was just trying to print the same thing. I am from Freeport and I am appalled at what is happenong in Nassau County, Join us at Village Hall in Freeport this Mon 8/13/12 in a protest of this terrorist supporter being welcomed in our community and even being allowed in this country.
djw August 11, 2012 at 07:43 AM
I agree with Paraderest and Eva Butler. I am disgusted by the recent actions by Peter King, Ed Mangano, Nassau County Legislator Fran Becker and Freepor's Mayor Andrew Hardwick. All four of them rolled out the red carpet for a known and self admitted terrorist who cheered as the Twin Towers cam down. He is El Salvador's VP Salvador Sanchez Ceren. He said he was happy that we were attacked on 9/11. He said we deserved it. Days later he held a rally in the streets of El Salvador and burned the American flag. I am sick and disgsted that they would wine and dine this hater of America with my tax dollars.

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