Albuquerque police find no explosives after bomb threat at Messianic synagogue

Oct. 21—A person called in a bomb threat to a Messianic synagogue in Albuquerque on Saturday morning, citing their "gripes" with Israel over the country's recent strikes on the Gaza Strip.

Gilbert Gallegos, an Albuquerque Police Department spokesman, said no explosives were found at the Adat Yeshua Messianic Synagogue after a search by the department's bomb squad.

He said a backpack was found at the place of worship, near Lomas and Washington NE, but a bomb robot and X-rays found no explosives inside.

Gallegos said the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force is investigating the threat.

Authorities nationwide have been on high alert for attacks at mosques and synagogues as Israel retaliates against Hamas terrorists, with many Palestinians caught in the middle, following a brutal attack on Israeli soil last weekend.

Saturday's threat in Albuquerque focused on a Messianic site, though major denominations of Judaism reject Messianic Judaism as a form of Judaism, according to The Associated Press.

Gallegos said a 911 call came in before noon that someone had sent a message to a crisis hotline with "some gripes about Israel and the situation in the Middle East." The person said they were in the congregation building and had a bomb in a backpack set "to go off at a certain time."

Gallegos said the rabbi and others evacuated the property as officers were arriving and told police "nobody was inside or suspicious when they exited." He said the backpack found in the lobby turned out to be a medic bag.

Gallegos said nobody has been charged in the case, and no suspects have been identified.

He also said police notified the FBI and, due to the current climate, reached out to synagogues and Jewish leaders around Albuquerque.

Gallegos said no other threats have been reported.