Warnings as security stepped up at shuls and schools


Britain’s Jewish community must “change its mind-set” in the wake of the Manchester terrorist atrocity, security experts have warned.

Police and Community Security Trust volunteers will be positioned outside most synagogues for Shabbat services this weekend while Jewish schools across the country have already seen an increase in security following Monday’s suicide bombing.

CST has organised training sessions at synagogues for community members — including advice on how to deal with bomb threats and how to respond to firearm or weapons attacks.

In a statement on Wednesday, the charity said “transport hubs, key locations and events” were most at risk of attack following Theresa May’s decision to raise Britain’s threat level to critical.

While CST stressed there was “no specific information suggesting that the Jewish community is at any greater imminent risk than the rest of the country”, security experts said there was a need to change some basic behaviour patterns. A security source said: “The Jewish community does need to change its mind-set.

“In communal life, that means dropping the kids off to school and taking responsibility as a parent not to hang around outside the gates.

“Or if you are entering a building known to be that of a Jewish organisation, keep your eyes open and make sure you shut the door behind you firmly without letting in anyone else.

“It’s about rethinking how you go about living your everyday life while the threat level remains critical.”

As soldiers were deployed to protect significant sites and ease the burden on police, CST confirmed it had increased patrols and guarding of Jewish communal buildings after liaising with police and military chiefs.

“This is when our collective long-term investment in security measures is sadly shown to be necessary,” a spokesman said. Commenting on bomber Salman Abedi, who was known to the security services, the spokesman said: “The details emerging about the Manchester terrorist suggest a strong link with Libyan Islamist and jihadist circles in the city.”

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