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JCC shootings show threat of lone-wolf attack; Bay Area Jewish agencies offer sympathy, assurances

by jta & j. reports

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Latest reporting from JTA:

In Kansas City, targeting a community's beating heart

Kansas City shootings highlight threat of "lone wolf" attacks

President Obama pledges support for K.C. probe, calls attack "heartbreaking"

 

See below for six statements issued by Bay Area Jewish agencies

See below for security alert issued by Anti-Defamation League

 

 

ADL releases backgrounder on alleged Kansas JCC shooter Frazier Glenn Miller 

Updated 10 a.m. PDT 4/14/14

         Backgrounder: Frazier Glenn Miller 

NEW YORK, April 14, 2014 / PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The shooter arrested in the killing of three individuals outside the Jewish institutions in Overland Park, Kansas is a white supremacist with a long history of promoting anti-Semitism and racism, according to a backgrounder released by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). 

 

The suspect, identified by police as Frazier Cross, but who is also known as Frazier Glenn Miller (or simply Glenn Miller), is a white supremacist from southwest Missouri with a career in hatred and white supremacy that has spanned more than three decades. In the early 1980s, Glenn Miller was one of the more notorious white supremacists in the U.S., but he eventually ran afoul of both the federal government and members of his own movement and has spent the last decade at the periphery of the white supremacist movement.

"The shooting at the Kansas Jewish community centers is a sad and tragic event which reminds us where the spread of anti-Semitism and racism can lead," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "We recently issued a report which indicated that the number of anti-Semitic incidents in the United States had fallen precipitously over the past few years. So the statistics are good, and then you wake up in the morning and three people are dead because someone believed them to be Jews." 
ADL has reissued a security bulletin to synagogues and Jewish communal institutions across the United States urging them to review their security plans for the Passover holiday, which begins at sundown tonight.

Originally from North Carolina, Frazier Glenn Miller began his career as a neo-Nazi in the mid-1970s, but soon switched to the Ku Klux Klan. He was present at an infamous shooting of left-wing activists by white supremacists in Greensboro in 1979 that left five dead, but was never charged with a crime.

By 1980, Miller had formed his own Klan group, the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan (later changed to the White Patriot Party), a large regional Klan group that drew notoriety for its paramilitary training exercises. Members of the group committed several hate crimes against African-Americans during the decade, while its second-in-command was convicted of a plot to purchase stolen weapons, ostensibly to target a civil rights organization. During this period, Miller was one of the more notorious white supremacists in the U.S.

The activities of Miller and his group eventually led to a federal court order prohibiting its paramilitary training. Rather than obey the order, Miller went underground with several followers in 1987 after issuing a "Declaration of War" that called for the "blood of our enemies [to] flood the streets." Federal agents soon arrested Miller hiding out in the Ozarks in Missouri on charges related to his "Declaration" and explosives violations.

Miller eventually pleaded guilty to possession of a hand grenade and received a five-year sentence. He also agreed to testify against other prominent white supremacists in a sedition trial in Arkansas in 1988--this latter decision earned him the enmity of the majority of the white supremacist movement, which now considered him a traitor to the movement.

After getting out of prison in 1990, Miller moved to Iowa (later to Missouri) and became a truck driver. Largely ostracized by white supremacists, he laid low until the end of the decade, when he self-published his autobiography (A White Man Speaks Out). This marked a return to activism; by the early 2000s, Miller began purchasing advertising space in local newspapers in Missouri for racist and anti-Semitic screeds, followed by his own attempts to publish a "white-friendly" newspaper called The European-American.

In 2004, Miller allied with fellow Missouri white supremacist Alex Linder to produce a more grandiose white supremacist newspaper that they dubbed The Aryan Alternative. Only a couple of issues were published, but they were printed in large numbers, which were distributed by various white supremacists for years. Miller also tried running for office, receiving only two votes in his 2010 attempt at a U.S. Senate seat in Missouri.

Throughout the 2000s, Miller actively promoted his racist and anti-Semitic views online, but remained hampered by the hostility with which most of the white supremacist movement continued to view him. In the years prior to the Overland Park attacks, Miller was a perennial but peripheral figure within the world of white supremacy.

 

STATEMENT FROM
Jewish Community Center San Francisco


Dear friends and members of the JCCSF community,

Earlier today there was a shooting at the Jewish Community Campus in Overland Park, in the Kansas City area, which resulted in fatalities and the arrest of a suspect. This is a terrible tragedy, and our hearts go out to the families of the victims and to the entire community of the Kansas City area.

Although this event is deeply distressing, we are being advised by police and security officials that this is almost certainly an isolated incident. Nonetheless, we are taking every precaution. Above and beyond the strong security we always have in place at the JCCSF, we are implementing heightened security measures and have directed staff to exercise even greater vigilance and to be proactive about ensuring the security of our members and guests. We are in close contact with the San Francisco Police Department, which has also heightened its presence, as well as with other agencies, and we will continue to review our security procedures as new information becomes available.

Please know that your safety is always our highest concern, and thank you for your understanding.

 

 


STATEMENT FROM
Addison-Penzak Jewish Community Center,
Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley,
Jewish Family Services of Silicon Valley,
and Yavneh Day School

Our hearts and prayers go out to the Kansas City community, which sustained a horrific loss today at the Kansas City JCC and the Village Shalom assisted living facility.

The suspected shooter is in police custody and we have no reason to believe that there is any imminent danger in our area. We are in direct contact with local law enforcement and are taking precautions to secure our facility to the best of our ability. At this time of year, when we are preparing to celebrate holidays of redemption and renewal, we are reminded that we cannot take these moments for granted.

With sympathy and in solidarity with Kansas City,

Avery Kaufman, President and Nate Stein, CEO of Addison-Penzak Jewish Community Center
Jeff Kanel, President and Jyl Jurman, CEO, Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley
Robin Sabes, President and Mindy Berkowitz, Executive Director of Jewish Family Services of Silicon Valley
Arnnon Geshuri, President and Steve Bogad, Head of School, Yavneh Day School

 

STATEMENT FROM
Jewish Community Center of the East Bay

Dear friends and members of the JCC East Bay community,

Our hearts and prayers go out to the Kansas City community, which sustained a horrific loss today at the Kansas City JCC and the Village Shalom assisted living facility.

The suspected shooter is in police custody and we have no reason to believe that there is any imminent danger in our area. We are in direct contact with local law enforcement and are taking precautions to secure our facilities to the best of our ability. At this time of year, when we are preparing to celebrate holidays of redemption and renewal, we are reminded that we cannot take these moments for granted.

With sympathy and in solidarity with Kansas City,

Sally Flinchbaugh
Executive Director, JCC of the East Bay

 

STATEMENT FROM
Osher Marin Jewish Community Center, San Rafael

Dear Osher Marin JCC Community,

Our hearts are heavy with the news of the shootings that took place earlier today at the Jewish Community Campus in the Kansas City area, which resulted in fatalities and the arrest of a suspect. Our thoughts are with everyone affected and touched by the terrible tragedy, and with the broader Kansas City community.

Although the event is deeply distressing, we are advised by police that it is almost certainly an isolated incident. Nevertheless, we are taking every precaution to ensure the safety of our members, participants, friends, and staff. We have elevated our security presence at both of our sites and we are in close contact with the Sheriff, who has increased their monitoring. We will continue to review our security procedures as new information becomes available.

Please be assured that your safety is our highest priority. We hope that you will join us in prayers for the Kansas City community tonight and in the days ahead. At this time of spring holidays celebrating renewal and freedom, it is incumbent upon us to continue as a community that stands for dignity and respect for all.

With sympathy,

Judy Wolff-Bolton, Executive Director
Marty Friedman, President

 

STATEMENT FROM
S.F.-based Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund

Dear friends,

We are horrified by yesterday's senseless act of hatred aimed at Jewish residents of Kansas City. Our hearts go out to those who have suffered a tragic loss. No community should ever fear that it could be targeted by bigoted criminals, and our thoughts and prayers are with the Jewish community of Kansas City as it is forced to confront the ugly reality of hate and anti-Semitism.

Immediately after news of the tragedy broke, our Bay Area Jewish communal security officials were alerted and in contact with local and federal law enforcement.

On this holiday of Passover, we are reminded that freedom is something for which we are always striving, including the freedom from wanton violence and racism.
In solidarity,

Jim Offel
Interim Chief Executive Officer
Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund

 

STATEMENT FROM
Jewish Community Federation of the East Bay

Federation and Foundation Stand with Kansas City Jewish Community Following Tragic Shooting

Chevrei,

We at the Jewish Federation and The Jewish Community Foundation stand in solidarity with the Jewish community in Kansas City following yesterday's tragic shootings at Overland Park's Jewish Community Center and at the Village Shalom senior center. Our sympathies are with the families of the victims and the entire Kansas City Jewish community at this terrible time.

As we gather around our Seder tables tonight to recall our liberation from Egyptian bondage, let us remember all those in our world who suffer from oppression and hate, and pledge to renew our commitments to building a world in which all people are free to live their lives without the threat of terror.

On behalf of all of us at Federation and Foundation, we wish you and yours a meaningful Passover.

Chag Sama'ach,
Rabbi James Brandt
CEO, Jewish Community Federation of the East Bay

 

SECURITY ALERT
FROM ADL
Issued: April 13, 2014

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) mourns the senseless loss of life today following the tragic shootings at the Jewish Community Center and Village Shalom, an assisted living facility, in Overland Park, in the Greater Kansas City area. ADL has been in close contact with law enforcement authorities. The investigation in Overland Park is ongoing, and we will all learn more in the coming days.

In the meantime, we have received no information regarding any specific additional threats to Jewish institutions. Nevertheless, today's violence should once again be a reminder of the importance of being vigilant about security. We encourage Jewish institutions to review your security procedures, particularly in advance of the Passover holiday, and recommend the following action steps:


ACTION STEPS:

§ Connect with local law enforcement to discuss security. If you have not established personal relationships with key police personnel, set up a meeting to do so. If you are not sure who to reach out to, ADL can help connect you with the appropriate personnel.

§ Ensure that your institution's rules and procedures dealing with who gets into your facility and events are sufficient and are functioning (access control).

§ A facility should have as few entry points as possible (ideally one), so that no one is able to enter your facility without being greeted and observed. Be sure to obey all fire codes and ensure adequate routes for exiting the building.

§ Suspicious behavior should be promptly reported to the police or security personnel. See ADL's Guide to Detecting Surveillance of Jewish Institutions.

§ Suspicious packages and strange devices should be promptly reported to the police or security personnel. See the FBI Advisory on what to do if you receive a suspicious letter or package.

§ Ensure that your staff members, including newly hired personnel, know their role in security and what to do in the event of an emergency.

§ Ensure that existing safety devices (video cameras, lights, walkie talkies, etc.) are in good working condition.

§ Trust your instincts. If something strikes you as being out of place or problematic, call the police immediately.


Security is a long-term process that cannot be efficiently or effectively deployed only when there is a bulletin, advisory or alert. It is important to review security procedures on a regular basis and to always be thinking of ways to improve security.

 

 


Comments

Posted by rocky
04/16/2014  at  08:36 PM
JCC shootings

Under German law, a nut case like Cross would probably have been jailed years ago for his hate speech. But the first amendment to our constitution protects his right to spout racist venom and our second amendment makes it easy for people like him to obtain fire arms. The only surprise here is that there are so few attacks of this kind in any given year.

If the country couldn’t be moved by the murder of young school children in Connecticut, I doubt that anything will change after Overland Park.

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