ALBANY, N.Y.(NEWS 10/WUTR/WFXV/WPNY)– According to Governor Kathy Hochul, law enforcement has identified a person of interest as a part of the investigation into anti-Semitic threats at Cornell University. The person is in New York State Police custody for questioning.
In the days and weeks since Hamas attacked Israel, leaders at both the state and federal level say there has been an increase in hate crimes and threats.
“For Jewish and Muslim New Yorkers alike, the pain is deep,” said Hochul, during an address on Tuesday. “As they fear not just for the safety of their loved ones in harms way, but increasingly for their own safety here at home.”
Most recently, there were threats against the Jewish community at Cornell University.
“Just yesterday, I sat with Jewish students at Cornell University. After receiving horrific threats on their lives online and hate mail in dorms, they are understandably anxious,” said Hochul. “Some are fearful now of attending class or eating in the kosher dining hall, and I promised them that the state of New York, would do everything in its power to protect them.”
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand also condemned the Cornell threats and other incidents of hate across the county. She said she’s working to secure increased funding for a nonprofit security grant program.
“The Jewish Center and the committee centers that are being targeted can apply for grant money so they can put in more support to protect students such as cameras, such as a security guards are needed to pay for them. Any other funding that keeps the community safe.”
Last week, Gillibrand signed a letter with other congressional members calling on the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI to prioritize information sharing with local and state enforcement partners.
At the state level, Hochul said she’s spoken to higher education leaders to make sure and hate and bias hotlines are activated and reports are followed up on.
“We’re also expanding the work of the social media analysis unit at the New York State intelligence center to increase monitoring for school and campus violent threats, as well as credible threats by white supremacists and Nazi organizations.:
As for Cornell University, the school thanks the FBI and other law enforcement agencies for working together. The university added it will continue to update the public when further details can be released.