Israeli man charged in anti-Semitic bomb threats case
- Author: Leroy Wright Apr 02, 2017,
Apr 02, 2017, 3:47
The threats across the US have forced people to vacate dozens of Jewish Community Centers, schools, offices and day-care centers, fostering fears about anti-Semitism nationwide.
Sources familiar with the case gave the suspect's age as 19 and said he is Jewish and holds Israeli and USA citizenship. He also revealed that in February 2015, the same suspect threatened a Delta Airways flight, causing the plane to make an emergency landing.
But Israeli police described the local man as the primary suspect in the wave of threats.
Earlier this month, a St. Louis resident and former journalist, Juan Thompson, was arrested and charged for making at least eight bomb threats against Jewish community centers and the Anti-Defamation League.
Attacks and threats on the US Jewish community have grown since President Donald Trump's election in November.
Toronto police spokesperson Mark Pugash said Thursday that they did not have any information to link the threat against Miles Nadal JCC on March 7 to the arrest in Israel.
The suspect's father was detained and questioned by Israeli police about whether he was aware of his son's activities.
The man is from southern Israel and used masking technology to hide the origins of his communication with his targets, which consisted mainly of synagogues and other public Jewish buildings.
"My client. suffers from a very serious medical problem, a problem that may affect his behaviour, his ability to understand right and wrong", his defence attorney told Reuters news agency. The arrest was made in cooperation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other global police forces.
"He didn't use regular phone lines". The threats were accompanied by acts of vandalism on several Jewish cemeteries.
"We are more confident than ever that the OFJCC is a safe and welcoming place for members, students, guests and staff".
He has been tied to "most" calls placed as part of a coordinated worldwide campaign of bomb threats targeting Jewish institutions in the United States, Europe and New Zealand.
Israel arrested on Thursday (Mar 23) a Jewish teenager accused of making dozens of anti-Semitic bomb threats in the United States and elsewhere, and one to a major airline, following a wide-ranging investigation involving the FBI. "He used different computer systems so he couldn't be backtracked". Police said in a statement the suspect's age was 19 and did not mention his dual nationality.