The 144-year-old Shaar Hashammayn (Gate of Heaven) synagogue in Charai, Thane, received a bomb threat on Wednesday. The police searched the premises and it turned out to be a hoax. The threat mail was received from email ID ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’. In the mail, the sender wrote, “I planted bombs inside your synagogue. The explosives are well hidden and they will go off soon. We will make sure you all end up dead. We are a terrorist group called: Fuming.”
The president of the synagogue, Samy Daniel, told the FPJ that the mail reached the inbox at 1.30pm on Wednesday, but he opened it only at 12.30pm on Thursday. He said, “I was shocked to receive the threat. I immediately informed the Naupada police, who rushed within 10 minutes and checked every part of the synagogue with the help of the bomb and dog squads. Luckily, there was no bomb. The sender had threatened to blow up the place.” Daniel said he wondered how the sender got the email ID of the synagogue.
Another Jewish resident of Thane, Herzel Simon, said there are about 600 families of Bene Israelis in Thane. “We are a close-knit peace-loving community. We never had any problems in the past. But this threat to target our synagogue is worrying,” he added.
The Commissioner of Police tasked the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone 1) Ganesh Gawade, Assistant Commissioner of Police Priya Dakhane, senior police inspectors Ravindra Kshirsagar and Dilip Patil to conduct the investigation.
In the background of the Israel-Hamas war, a hate campaign has been started by radical elements against the Jews. The police have beefed up security at the synagogue. The last time a Jewish place of worship was targeted was when Islamic terrorists from Pakistan stormed into Chabad House in Colaba in November 2008.