A security alert has been sent to synagogues across Manchester following an anti-Semitic assault against four Jewish men at a Metrolink stop. The attack happened at the Bowker Vale Metrolink stop in North Manchester on 5 September.
Three men approached four Jewish males – two 18 year olds and a 17 and 20 year old – and proceeded to verbally and physically assault them. The 17 year old was placed into a drug-induced coma following the attack and remains in a serious condition in hospital.
Greater Manchester Police said they are treating the assault as an anti-Semitic hate crime and are appealing to anyone with information to come forward.
Following the attack, the Community Security Trust (CST), a charity that protects British Jews from anti-Semitism and related threats, issued a warning to synagogues in the Manchester area to be vigilant against attacks, with several Jewish holidays coming up.
A spokesperson added: "CST is liaising with the families and has been asked to help request that tehillim prayers are said for the recovery of the hospitalised victim. CST is also in close contact with Greater Manchester Police, who are mounting a full investigation into this serious and deeply troubling attack. The police state that they are now following up a number of positive lines of enquiry.
"CST utterly condemns this assault, which appears to have been the consequence of the type of random and thuggish street anti-Semitism and violence that is all too common: even if it does not usually have such an extreme outcome.
"There is no reason to suggest that the attack was either pre-planned or in any way connected to international terrorism, but it has understandably caused much concern and distress within the Jewish community of north Manchester. CST entirely shares these worries, and we will continue working with the victims' families, our Jewish community and local police in every way possible at this time.
"The assault confirms the need for security measures as already fully planned by CST, synagogues and Greater Manchester Police for the imminent High Holy Days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. This includes CST personnel, commercial security guards and visible policing."
Detective Inspector Liam Boden said: "I know this [attack] will cause upset and anxiety in the Jewish community and I want to offer reassurance that we have launched an investigation to find the people that did this.
"This attack is being treated as a hate crime and I want to send the message that hate crime will not be tolerated and we will do everything we can to stamp it out."