Wed. May 29th, 2024

FBI is working with colleges to warn of antisemitic threats, violence amid protests

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell May15,2024

FBI Director Christopher Wray said his agency is working with colleges and universities to warn them of threats of violence amid a wave of protests surrounding the Israel-Hamas war on campuses across the country.

Wray, in a Tuesday interview with NBC News’s Lester Holt, said the bureau does not directly track college protests, but it is providing information to schools as it becomes aware of possible threats.

The FBI is “keenly focused on working with state and local law enforcement, campus law enforcement and others to try to make sure that we stay ahead” of potential violence,” he said.

Dozens of large-scale protests against the war have popped up on college campuses in recent days after protests escalated at Columbia University with the arrest of more than 100 students Friday.

Columbia has become the locus of political discussion of the protests, hosting high-profile visits from politicians from both sides of the aisle amid accusations of antisemitism by protesters and alleged threats of violence. Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) is set to make remarks and visit with Jewish students at the university Wednesday afternoon.

Hundreds of students have occupied Columbia’s campus for days, protesting the Biden administration’s response to the Israel-Hamas war, backing a cease-fire in the conflict and urging Congress to stop sending military aid to Israel. They have also demanded the university divest from companies with ties to Israel and increase financial transparency.

Police also sparred with protesters at New York University on Monday, resulting in more than 120 arrests, though violence hasn’t been reported at any other campus protest related to the war.

The Columbia protesters have also pushed back against claims that the groups are antisemitic. A sizable number of the protesters are Jewish, with a large group holding a Passover Seder from the protest camp on Monday to celebrate the beginning of the holiday. 

“We are frustrated by media distractions focusing on inflammatory individuals who do not represent us,” Columbia protest leaders wrote in a Sunday statement. “Our members have been misidentified by a politically motivated mob.” 

“We firmly reject any form of hate or bigotry and stand vigilant against non-students attempting to disrupt the solidarity being forged among students,” they continued. “Palestinian, Muslim, Arab, Jewish, Black and pro-Palestinian classmates and colleagues who represent the full diversity of our country.”

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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2 thoughts on “FBI is working with colleges to warn of antisemitic threats, violence amid protests”
  1. It’s crucial that authorities work together to ensure safety on college campuses during this period of heightened tension. The FBI’s collaborative efforts with educational institutions can help mitigate potential threats and maintain a secure environment for students and staff.

  2. FBI Director Christopher Wray’s efforts to work with colleges and universities to prevent violence amid protests is commendable. It’s crucial to address threats of violence surrounding sensitive issues like the Israel-Hamas war, and collaboration with campus law enforcement is essential in ensuring the safety of students and staff. Kudos to the FBI for their proactive approach in averting potential dangers.

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