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London Jews Get Letter Bombs, Raising Fears of Hate Campaign

March 14, 1991
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Two explosive devices mailed to Jewish addresses in London last week have raised fears that the British Jewish community is the target of a letter bomb campaign.

Nobody was injured, but only because one of the devices failed to explode when it was opened.

A spokesman for the Board of Deputies of British Jews said one letter bomb was delivered to a Jewish gift shop, Jerusalem the Golden, in Golders Green, northwest London.

The other was received at the Hillel House student center in the West End.

The spokesman said both resembled the letter bomb sent last month to Jewish Care, a communal welfare organization, which also did not explode.

All three were described as “crude” devices which could nevertheless “blind or blow off someone’s fingers if it went off.”

Haim Lubashevsky, who owns the shop in Golders Green, said he received the letter bomb last Friday, although it was misaddressed to the “Israel Arts Company.”

The lethal packet lay on the counter all morning before he opened it. When he did, Lubashevsky said, he found the envelope “stuffed with cotton wool, a battery, wires and gunpowder.”

Two weeks earlier, an anonymous telephone caller with a British accent told a shop employee, “Infidels, you have been sent a device.”

Hillel House, which is used by hundreds of Jewish students daily, received a similar envelope last Friday. It lay unnoticed until Monday morning, when an alert staff member became suspicious and called police.

“It gave us a real fright and has put us on our toes in terms of increased security,” said Susan Benjamin, the Hillel House administrator.

She suggested that post office employees be more vigilant as well.

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