Gay synagogue was target of Yemeni exploding packages plot

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A lesbian and gay Jewish congregation in Chicago was the target of one of the explosive-laden packages intercepted on route from Yemen, a Rabbi has claimed.

The Wall Street Journal reports that one of the packages bore the street address of the Emanuel Synagogue in Chicago and that it specifically referred to the congregation of gay and lesbian Jews who share facilities with the mainstream synagogue.

“This is unfortunately the new normal for people in the US, not just Jews,” said Rabbi Michael Zedek of the Emmanuel Or ChadeshSynagogue. “American awareness of the world and its dangers has changed. But we are not going to be intimidated.” Rabbi Zedek told the newspaper that he was told by a high ranking community member that at least four synagogues in Chicago had been targeted. He added: the good news is that the Emanuel congregation was not targeted, the bad news is that Or Chadesh was.”

The synagogue’s website had received more than 80 recent visits from computers inside Egypt which raised suspicions but was not reported to the authorities until now.

“It was unnerving, [but] we carried on as normal,” Or Chadash’s co-president, Lilli Kornblum, told CNN.
“We do always have security when we have congregational events, however last night Chicago police were in much, much higher visibility. And we were on higher alert for people we don’t know or anyone who might be carrying backpacks, packages, that sort of thing.”

Yemeni security forces yesterday arrested a woman accused of involvement in sending exploding packages to the United States.