Ann Arbor Jewish center evacuated after caller says backpack with bomb will explode

All-clear given after police search Hebrew Day School in Ann Arbor

By Priya Mann - Reporter, Derick Hutchinson

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - A new string of threats emerged Monday at Jewish centers across the United States. On Monday morning alone, bomb threats were phoned in to 20 Jewish schools and community centers in 11 states in the Midwest and the East Coast.

One of the bomb threats was called in to the Hebrew Day School in Ann Arbor. Police were investigating the threat, but the all-clear has been given.

"You can't really take a chance when you have a building with 200 children," David Shtulman, of the Jewish Community Center, said.

The entire building, including a day care and Hebrew school, at the Jewish Community Center in Ann Arbor was evacuated due to a specific bomb threat.

"It was a male caller," said Ann Arbor police Lt. Matthew Lige. "The caller indicated that there was a bomb in a backpack and the backpack was about to activate."

Ann Arbor police got the call around 9:30 a.m. Monday, around the time when multiple police agencies across the country received similar threats.

"We are now coordinating with the FBI to determine the validity of the threat and the source of the phone call," Lige said.

Specially trained MSP officers and bomb-sniffing dogs didn't find any explosive devices, so police gave the all-clear within two hours after searching the building.

"It's sad that this is happening," Shtulman said. "I think it's part of the larger sadness that's happening all across the country to all kinds of groups."

There were 200 children evacuated, ranging in age from 3 months to fifth grade.

The center is still on high alert.

"Personally, I wish that the president of the United States would speak out a little bit more forcefully," Shtulman said. "It's time for the administration to really speak out and say, 'We're not going to tolerate this anymore.'"

Parents said there was a threat last May and that it's a very difficult conversation to have with their children.

The JCC in Ann Arbor said it has evacuations in place that students regularly practice.

Ann Arbor police said they're working with the FBI to identify who the caller was.

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