NEW YORK — Racist groups including neo-Nazis and other white supremacists are urging people in their ranks to contract the coronavirus in order to infect Jews and police officers, according to a report.
ABC News obtained an alert from the FBI’s New York office to local police agencies saying that “members of extremist groups are encouraging one another to spread the virus, if contracted, through bodily fluids and personal interactions.”
The alert, which was issued Thursday, warned that the extremist groups instructed their members to spread their bodily fluids on cops using spray bottles, according to the network.
The followers also were told to spread the deadly illness to Jews by going “any place they may be congregated, to include markets, political offices, businesses and places of worship.”
“Anti-government folks in America love to target law enforcement as a symbol of America’s authority,” said Don Mihalek, executive vice president of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association Foundation.
“It’s just sad that that’s their focus at a time of crisis in the nation,” the ABC News contributor added.
Organizations that keep tabs on online white supremacist postings have noticed that Jews and Jewish leaders have been blamed for the novel virus.
“From pushing the idea that Jews created the coronavirus virus to sell vaccines to encouraging infected followers to try to spread the illness to the Jewish community and law enforcement, as the coronavirus has spread, we have observed how white-supremacists, neo-Nazis and others have used this to drive their own conspiracy theories, spread disinformation and incite violence on their online platforms,” said Michael Masters, the chief of Secure Communities Network, a group that coordinates security for Jewish organizations and synagogues nationwide.
“While the world faces a deadly pandemic, it’s a stark reminder that certain groups — notably the Jewish community and law enforcement — must also continue the battle against those who wish to hurt or kill them,” Masters told ABC. “As the economic situation remains fragile and civil society disrupted, the potential for the followers of hate to act becomes more likely … and more deadly.”