Bomb Threat at House of Worship
On Sunday, December 17, 2023, at approximately 9:43 AM, a house of worship in Hopewell Township, received and email stating that there were “multiple explosives” hidden throughout the building which would detonate within a few hours.The email was received by the spiritual leader while the building was occupied.The Hopewell Township Police Department was notified shortly thereafter and units were dispatched to the scene.Upon arrival, HTPD officers assisted the staff with evacuating the building occupants.With the help of the Pennington Police Department, Pennington Fire Department and Squad 154, all occupants were transported to an off-site reunification point and reunited with family members.
It was quickly determined that the email was distributed to multiple locations in NJ and throughout the country and there was no nexus to the house of worship.Out of an abundance of caution, HTPD requested assistance from other Mercer County agencies in the form of explosive detection K9 units.The Mercer County Sheriff’s Office provided a K9 unit who responded and cleared the building and the surrounding area.
Upon clearing the building, the investigation continued and it was determined that the email was sent from an unknown source who had distributed the email to numerous houses of worship in NJ.It does not appear, at this time that the threat was credible nor does it appear that there is any specific connection to the house of worship in Hopewell.
Officer Paul Alvaro #64 and Detective Michael Makwinski # 58 are continuing the investigating for Hopewell Township.Multiple federal, state and county agencies are involved in the investigation and anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Makwinski at 609-737-3100 ext. 5790.
Contact:Lt. Louis Vastola, Lieutenant
Hopewell Township Police Department