(AP/WJW) — Federal agents have identified the man they believe posted a broad online threat against synagogues in New Jersey but do not believe he was planning to carry out a specific plot, a law enforcement official said Friday.

The man, whose identity was not immediately released, was questioned by law enforcement and told agents he had been bullied in the past and harbored anger toward Jewish people, the official said. But investigators do not believe the man had the means or motive to carry out any specific attack, the official added.

The official could not discuss details of the investigation publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

The FBI said Thursday that it had received credible information about a “broad” threat to synagogues in New Jersey, a warning that prompted some municipalities to send extra police officers to guard houses of worship.

The source of the threat “no longer poses a danger to the community,” the FBI in Newark tweeted.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said in an emailed statement Friday that the threat had been “mitigated,” but the Democrat did not offer details.

“We will not be indifferent. We will remain vigilant. We will take any and every threat with the utmost seriousness and we will stand up and stand shoulder to shoulder with our Jewish congregations,” Murphy said.

On Friday, the Beachwood Police Department here in Ohio made the following statements in light of the threats in New Jersey:

The Beachwood Police Department is constantly collaborating with the Jewish Federation of Cleveland on safety and security issues concerning the synagogues in our city.  Our agency is aware of the threats made in other jurisdictions but we are unable to provide specific details or security plans for obvious reasons.  We do encourage all community members to contact our agency if they see anything that they feel is suspicious or out of the ordinary. 

The Jewish Federation of Cleveland said they are continuing to monitor the situation closely and are in contact with local police. Here is their full statement:

JFC Security, LLC – Jewish Federation of Cleveland’s security provider – works closely with law enforcement agencies to help keep Jewish Cleveland safe, strong, and growing. On November 3, we were notified by the Cleveland office of the FBI about the situation in New Jersey. We were notified today that the threats in New Jersey have been mitigated and resolved.

During that conversation with Cleveland FBI, we confirmed that there is no known threats to Northeast Ohio Jewish agencies at the present time. We will continue to monitor this situation closely and maintain our regular contact with area law enforcement partners.

As always, we encourage our community to continue to be aware and vigilant of their surroundings and to call 911 immediately if they see anything that seems out of the ordinary. Community members interested in taking advantage of the variety free safety training and education offered by JFC Security can contact the Federation for more details.

The FBI department in Cleveland also responded to the threats:

Hate crimes are the highest priority of the FBI’s civil rights program because of the devastating impact they have on families and communities. We continue to work closely with our partners in law enforcement, religious organizations, and community groups to identify and prevent potential incidents. We ask members of the public to maintain awareness of their surroundings; if they observe threatening or suspicious activity, we encourage them to report it to local authorities, or to the FBI Cleveland at 216-522-1400 or tips.fbi.gov.

The nature of the threat was vague. The Newark FBI released a statement urging synagogues to “take all security precautions to protect your community and facility” but wouldn’t say anything about who made the threat or why.

“It raises the anxiety level,” said Jason Shames, leader of the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey. “This one for us was about vigilance. We keep having to say: See something, say something.”

Public warnings about nonspecific threats against Jewish institutions, made by a variety of groups including Christian supremacists and Islamist extremists, aren’t unusual in the New York City metropolitan area, and many turn out to be false alarms. But the area has also seen deadly attacks.

Five years ago, two New Jersey men were sentenced to 35 years in prison after being convicted of a series of attacks in 2012 that included the firebombings of two synagogues. They also threw a Molotov cocktail into the home of a rabbi as he slept with his wife and children.

In 2019, a man stabbed five people at a Hanukkah celebration at a rabbi’s home in an Orthodox Jewish community north of New York City, fatally wounding one person.