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FCC helps Jewish community centers track down bomb threats

The facilities will be able to see blocked phone numbers so they can track perpetrators calling in bomb threats, thanks to a waiver of privacy rules.

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department K-9 officers search the Jewish Community Center of Southern Nevada last month after an employee received a suspicious phone call that led about 10 people to evacuate the building.
Ethan Miller, Getty Images

The Federal Communications Commission has waived privacy rules to help Jewish community centers identify and track down callers making bomb threats.

The agency issued the temporary waiver Friday to allow phone companies to identify callers who are using blocked private numbers, which should help law enforcement trace the calls.

"This agency must and will do whatever it can to combat the recent wave of bomb threats against Jewish community centers," FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a statement.

Federal officials have been investigating 122 bomb threats called in to nearly 100 Jewish community center schools, child care and similar facilities in more three dozen states that began Jan. 9, according to CBS News. Earlier this month vandals, targeted Jewish cemeteries in Rochester, NY, Philadelphia and outside of St. Louis, Mo.

On Friday, the FBI arrested a suspect in connection with at least eight threats made to Jewish organizations and a bomb threat to New York's Anti-Defamation League, CBS said. They continue to investigate other threats.

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer of New York requested the waiver on Wednesday, days after several JCCs were targeted in another wave of threats.