Incident Summary:

2/13/1997: Harry Shapiro placed a pipe bomb at the Jacksonville Jewish Center in Jacksonville, Florida, United States. The bomb did not detonate and was discovered by a group of children nine days later. Former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres spoke at the Conservative Jewish synagogue on the same day the bomb was scheduled to detonate.



United States

North America

region/u.s. state:



Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Bombing/Explosion
Successful Attack? (more) No
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Religious Figures/Institutions
Name of Entity Jewish institution hosting a speech by former Israeli Prime Minister Simon Peres
Specific Description Jacksonville Jewish Center
Nationality of Target United States
Additional Information
Hostages No
Ransom No
Property Damage No
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Explosives Time Fuse
Weapon Details
Nine inch pipe bomb consisting of blasting caps, gun powder and a nine volt battery connected to a wristwatch
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?No
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Additional Information Three hours before Shimon Peres was scheduled to speak, an anonymous caller (later determined to be Harry Shapiro) claiming to represent the American Friends of the Islamic Jihad warned the Jacksonville police that there were two bombs placed at the Synagogue. The caller stated, "one (bomb) is at the front hallway. Find it and you'll know we are serious. You will not find the other." Authorities subsequently search the building but did not discover any bombs. When the device was discovered nine days later, it was accompanied by a note with Shapiro's grievances. He was against Israel's participation in and Peres' support of the Middle East peace process. Shapiro claimed that the bomb was "incapable of exploding" but the authorities could not determine if the device was, in fact, a hoax.
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Jewish Extremists No
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators 1
Number of Captured Perpetrators 1
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 0 Fatalities / 0 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 0
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 0
Total Number of Injured 0
Number of U.S. Injured 0
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
Kevin Sack, "Florida Man Put Bomb at Peres Speech, Police Say," New York Times, February 26, 1997.
"Suspect Held In a Bombing Tries Suicide," New York Times, February 28, 1997.
"Federal Charges Filed in Synagogue Bomb Case," Sarasota Herald Tribune, March 20, 1997.