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Source of threat that prompted New Jersey synagogues warning identified and no longer dangerous, FBI says

The FBI's Newark office tweeted Thursday it was being "proactive" while alerting the public of the threat.

The FBI on Friday said it identified the source of a threat to New Jersey synagogues that prompted a public warning Thursday, saying the person no longer poses a danger. 

“Upon receipt of threat information against an unspecified New Jersey area synagogue, the FBI notified community leaders and our law enforcement partners," the FBI Newark said in a statement.

"We identified the source of the threat who no longer poses a danger to the community. As always, we would like to remind the public, to remain vigilant and if they observe suspicious activity to report it to law enforcement immediately."

The FBI interviewed a man linked to the threat who may have autism and said he had been bullied, multiple law enforcement sources familiar with the investigation told NBC New York.

He spoke to law enforcement of anger he said he had toward Jewish people, but allegedly said he would not hurt them because he wouldn’t want to get into trouble, NBC New York reported.

The FBI Newark office announced the threat Thursday afternoon in a statement and told the public to stay alert.

“The FBI has received credible information of a broad threat to synagogues in NJ. We ask at this time that you take all security precautions to protect your community and facility," the statement said. "We will share more information as soon as we can. Stay alert. In case of emergency call police.”

In a follow-up tweet, the FBI said, “We are taking a proactive measure with this warning while investigative processes are carried out.”

Two senior law enforcement officials told NBC News on Thursday there was no indication of any specific plot to synagogues in New Jersey.

Gov. Phil Murphy said in a statement Friday that while the specific threat may be mitigated, officials will remain vigilant amid a wave of antisemitism.

“I am grateful to the FBI, as well as state law enforcement partners including the Attorney General’s Office, the State Police, and the Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, for their tireless efforts in mitigating the immediate threat to our Jewish synagogues," the statement said.

"While this specific threat may be mitigated, we know this remains a tense time for our Jewish communities who are facing a wave of anti-Semitic activity. We will not be indifferent. We will remain vigilant."

State Attorney General Matthew Platkin said Thursday patrols would be increased in certain areas of the state deemed vulnerable, Platkin said.

“Some of these patrols will be in marked vehicles and others will not — but please do not be alarmed if you observe an increase in police presence as we are taking these steps in an abundance of caution,” Platkin said in the statement.

The Anti-Defamation League, a nonprofit group that tracks and monitors antisemitic activity, said in a Thursday tweet it was working with the FBI as it mobilized in response to the “credible threat” and urged synagogues to remain on alert.

“It was a nonspecific threat,” Scott Richman, the director of the ADL’s New York and New Jersey office, told NBC News on Thursday. “We have a system in place for making sure the word is out and that all the players are involved and mobilized. But in that environment you have to be careful.”