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Preparations for Seder at Chabad center in Bangkok (archives) Photo: Nechemya Wilhelm
Preparations for Seder at Chabad center in Bangkok (archives) Photo: Nechemya Wilhelm
 
 

World Jews on high alert ahead of Pesach

Counter-Terrorism Bureau instructs Jewish communities, Chabad centers worldwide to tighten security during mass Passover Seders. Local security forces, private security companies recruited

Itamar Eichner
Published: 03.12.13, 13:11 / Israel Jewish Scene

The Counter-Terrorism Bureau has instructed Chabad centers and Jewish communities in several sensitive countries to boost security and go as far as hiring local security companies to guard the mass Passover Seders planned during the Jewish holiday.

 

In some countries there are even preparations to have hikers conduct security checks at the entrance to Passover Seders in order to verify the identity of the participants and prevent the infiltration of a hostile element.

 

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The Counter-Terrorism Bureau stressed that there was no concrete warning in regards to terror organizations' plan to target specific Seders, but that precautions had to be taken in places where there was a large concentration of Israelis.

 

The main fear centers around India and Thailand, Sinai and Mediterranean Basin countries. According to Chabad emissary in Thessaloniki, Rabbi Yoel Kaplan, "The preparations this year include security arrangements coordinated with the security personnel at the Israeli embassies, who also take care of routine security throughout the year."

 

In India, local police have boosted security around Chabad centers, turning the buildings into fortresses encircled by security forces. The Delhi police commander even visited the Chabad center in Pushkar and updated the staff and visitors about the terror alerts.

 

Pictures of police officers and armed soldiers standing on the Pushkar center's roof have been posted on Chabad's Facebook page. "We have all kinds of soldiers' team building events at the Chabad center, and the regular security guard at the entrance has been joined by four others," said a local Chabad emissary.

 

Heads of the Israeli Counter-Terrorism Bureau visited several countries recently and held meetings with their local counterparts, asking them to tighten security on Israeli targets for fear of terror attacks.

 

The Bureau revealed that dozens of terror attacks against Israeli targets abroad were thwarted and disrupted over the past year. Senior Bureau officials said there was a division of work between Iran and its proxy Hezbollah: While Iran focuses on official Israeli targets, Hezbollah chooses Israeli tourists who are more vulnerable and less secure.

 

Danny Adeno Abebe contributed to this report

 

 

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