Local Police Warn of Extremist Groups Weaponizing COVID-19 To Target Religious Groups
by Alex Lloyd Gross
First, no credible threat to do this has surfaced in the Delaware Valley. That does not mean that there are not hateful people that will attempt to use the COVID-19 virus as a weapon elsewhere. Police in Lower Makefield , Bucks County Pa have received information regarding online discussions about spreading this virus to minorities, including Muslims and those of the Jewish faith. What follows is a letter issued by them taken verbatim, with no editing.
Dear Friends, I would like to advise our faith-based community of information that we have recently received regarding online discussions among racially motivated extremist groups. There is information involving the deliberate spreading of novel coronavirus, COVID-19 to faith-based and minority groups
Police are not aware of any specific or credible threats to any ethnic or faith-based community in Lower Makefield. The online discussions among the extremist are targeted towards Jewish and Asian-American communities, mosques and synagogues. The discussions speak of spreading COVID-19 by leaving saliva on door handles, elevator buttons, and spraying saliva from water bottles.
With the upcoming Jewish Passover holiday beginning April 8th, a special concern exists. There could be an opportunity for extremist groups to tamper with food or dishware before a meal is served. All should be vigilant and aware to potentially identify any food or items that may display signs of tampering. We feel this information is extremely important to share to raise awareness in these uncertain times. Should our department learn of a specific or credible threat, we will notify the organization within the community immediately. If any group learns of a potential threat or observes suspicious behavior and incidents to call police immediately. Township patrols have been instructed to give additional attention to places of worship and public meeting areas.
Kenneth D. Coluzzi