Chicago police said it beefed up security around all the city's synagogues. Also, US security sources said they ruled out the possibility that the parcels containing the explosives were bound for a synagogue near US President Barack Obama's house in the city.
The warning was given before Obama confirmed the packages contained explosives. Earlier, US media reported that the explosives were bound for a synagogue and a Jewish community center in Chicago, information confirmed by Obama Friday.
Michael Kotzin, vice president of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, told Ynet Friday that synagogues and other locations associated with Judaism were asked to check their mail with additional care even before the bomb threat surfaced.
Kotzin said the first warning came regarding packages originating in Yemen, and later came warnings regarding Saudi Arabia and additional countries.
Searching airplane in New Jersey's Newark Airport (Photo: Reuters)
Rabbi Michael Balinsky, executive vice president of the Chicago Board of Rabbis, said that he anticipates Shabbat services be held as usual.
The Chicago Tribune reported that Rabbi Michael Siegel of Anshe Emet Synagogue in Lakeview said the congregation will not accept UPS packages until "we know the danger has passed."
He added that since the September 11 attacks synagogues have enhanced their security means and are also receiving help from off-duty police officers to guard entrances to Jewish facilities.
Ortal Alon Finklestein, who resides in Chicago told Ynet that life goes on as usual in the city. "My mother-in-law called me earlier and told me of the news. It was a bit frightening, there's a synagogue near our house and we go there sometimes, mainly on Saturdays and holidays. There's also a Jewish school nearby, but overall I feel safe. I don't feel an immediate threat."
Ronen Medzini contributed to this report
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