September 30, 2021

USA - Secure Community Network unveils command center to track and respond to threats to Jewish community

A state-of-the-art security command center was unveiled this week by the Secure Community Network to ensure that the Jewish community is prepared in the event of any violence or threats.

Dubbed the National Jewish Security Operations Command Center, JSOCC was built with funding by private donors and gives the SCN – the security arm of the Jewish Federations of North America and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, a high-tech, centralized location where its intelligence analysts and security professionals can monitor and track threats to the Jewish community and coordinate responses with its partners including local, state and federal law enforcement.

"The JSOCC will enhance our ability to provide greater protection and improved response time more effectively and efficiently, moving us into a more proactive position to address security concerns and threats with key partners from law enforcement to Jewish communities," Michael Masters, national director and CEO of SCN, told Jewish News Syndicate.

According to Masters, the command center, which is located in Chicago, will be staffed 16 hours a day, but can be increased to 24 hours a day if needed. It includes a 16-foot video wall to allow for "optimal incident track and response," as well as individual workstations. JSOCC can seat eight people, but has an overflow capacity to accommodate additional staff in the event of a major incident.

It is, he said, "a significant step forward in protecting our people."

"We are in the most complex and dynamic threat environment we have seen. In many years, recent data from the FBI and DHS, along with our own assessment and that of partners like the [Anti-Defamation League] confirms this," Masters said. "This past week, [FBI Director Christopher Wray] testified that the number of domestic terrorism cases doubled in the last year – roughly three cases a day are being opened."

The SCN said it saw a 125% increase in the reporting of incidents and issues related to the Jewish community in 2020.

That heightened trend appears to be carrying over into 2021. As a result of the Gaza conflict in May, the ADL recorded a 98% increase in online antisemitism and antisemitic threats spiked by as much as 75% in cities across the United States.

"While we are currently unaware of any specific attack planning, we constantly monitor the desire of many of our adversaries, domestic and international, to inflict harm and terrorize our community," he stated. "The JSOCC is enhancing our ability to do this more effectively and efficiently moving into a more proactive position."

Source: Israel hayom