Israeli American Jew Arrested For Jewish Community Center Bomb Threats

A wave of bomb threats against Jewish Community Centers in New Zealand, Australia and the U.S. led to an arrest in Israel. The teenage suspect, who is reported to be Jewish, holds dual U.S. and Israeli citizenship and was found unfit for compulsory military service in Israel.

Jewish community centers, schools and other organizations across the country have received more than 100 threats since the start of the year.

The young man holds dual US-Israeli citizenship and was arrested in Israel on Thursday local time on suspicion of making the threats.

Israeli authorities have arrested a suspect in the investigation of the dozens of bomb threats received by Jewish synagogues and community centers in the US over the past few months.

In just the first three months of 2017, there have already been more than 160 bomb threats against Jewish organizations and day schools within the USA, according to the Anti-Defamation League.

The threats led to evacuations of the buildings, upset Jewish communities, and raised fears of rising anti-Semitism.

"I congratulate the Israeli police on leading a complex worldwide investigation, together with law enforcement agencies from around the world, which led to the arrest of the suspect", Erdan said.

The suspect's lawyer, Galit Bash, told the Times that her client has a brain tumor, which "can affect his cognitive abilities and lead to "irrational" behavior" and led to him being denied from the military draft.

An Israeli police official said sophisticated methods were used.

On Thursday morning, police searched the man's home in southern Isreal, where investigators discovered antennas and satellite equipment. The suspect was arrested and brought for questioning at the global investigations unit and appeared before the Rishon Letzion court.

The youth, whose name has been withheld, was ordered into custody until at least March 30 while the investigation continues, police spokeswoman Luba Samri said in a text message.

Israel's minister of public security, Gilad Erdan, commented on the teen's arrest.

He said the investigation was carried out with the help of the FBI and police from other countries.

-Three months after Jewish community centers began receiving bomb threats, police have arrested the man they say is behind the hoax.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions confirmed the arrest Thursday, calling the threats "hate crimes against Jewish communities across our country".

-Associated Press materials were used in this report.

  • Leroy Wright