Israeli Embassy in Latvia receives threat of bomb

MOSCOW — The Israeli Embassy in Latvia is the latest target of a campaign against the country's Jews.

The embassy, which is located in the Latvian capital of Riga, received a bomb threat on Thursday of last week that paralyzed the work of the mission for more than two hours. No bomb was found.

The threat against the Israeli legation came one week after Riga's only synagogue was seriously damaged by a bomb. Two senior Latvian security officials were dismissed after the bombing and the country's National Security Council recommended ousting the army's commander in chief, Juris Dalbins.

Dalbins had come under sharp criticism for participating in a march last month in Riga of Latvian Nazi SS veterans. Some have linked the public activity of the veterans to recent violence against Jews, which also included the desecration of a Holocaust memorial in a Jewish cemetery.

On Thursday of last week, Latvian President Guntis Ulmanis accepted Dalbins' resignation.

Meanwhile, the search for those responsible for the synagogue attack has been narrowed down to two individuals, police officials said.

The investigation, involving some 2,200 police officers, has been described as the largest in Latvia in 20 years. A total of 265 people were taken into custody, of whom 40 were wanted in connection with other crimes.

Many government buildings and religious sites in Riga are now under constant police surveillance.

Latvian officials have said the attacks are aimed at complicating the Baltic nation's relations with the West and Russia.

Latvia, which is lobbying for membership in NATO and the European Union, has been at pains to avoid an international row over the recent incidents.

Ulmanis said in an interview last week that the SS veterans' march and synagogue bombing had badly damaged his country's image. The Latvian leader said he feared that in two weeks his country had "lost all that it gained" in previous negotiations with the European body.