Jewish communities in shock after discovering Jew behind JCC threats

Mar 25, 2017, 00:38
Jewish communities in shock after discovering Jew behind JCC threats

The 19-year-old youth holds a dual Israeli and USA citizenship, Xinhua news agency reported.

Israeli police announced the arrest of a 19-year-old for phoning in the phony threats, but refused to release his name.

While Israel intends to indict the suspect, he may be subject to extradition as he threatened institutions in the U.S., Europe, Australia, and New Zealand over a six month period.

A Jewish Israeli-American teen is brought for a court hearing at the Rishon Lezion Magistrate's Court, on suspicion of issuing fake bomb threats against Jewish institutions in the U.S. and around the world, on March 23, 2017. Jordan Shenker, head of a Jewish community center in New Jersey that was targeted by bomb threats, told the Associated Press that he is "cautiously optimistic" that the man arrested in Israel on Thursday acted alone and that the threats will be over.

Police arrested the teenager in Israel after an undercover FBI investigation.

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"Hopefully, this arrest will bring an end to the threats", JCC of Greater Baltimore CEO Barak Hermann and Board Chair Annette Saxon said in a statement.

They say the teen used "advanced camouflage technologies", according to CNN.

His public defender, Galit Besh, said the suspect has a serious medical condition - identified by Israel's Channel 10 as a nonmalignant brain tumor going back to at least age 14 - and it could affect his behavior, The Times of Israel reported.

He says the investigation was carried out with the help of the FBI and police from other countries. The threat allegedly led to an emergency landing. But in response, the center increased security.

"Even though it appears that the main culprit behind the majority of these attacks has allegedly been identified, anti-Semitism in the US remains a very serious concern", Jonathan A. Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, said in a statement. "Investigating hate crimes is a top priority for the Federal Bureau of Investigation and we will continue to work to make sure all races and religions feel safe in their communities and in their places of worship". "He used different computer systems so he couldn't be backtracked", Mr. Rosenfeld explained.

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The leader of a suburban Milwaukee Jewish Community Center expressed cautious optimism and pledged resolve Thursday after news broke that a teenager in Israel had been arrested in connection with threats against Jewish facilities around the world.

The suspect arrested today is not the first connected with recent threats against Jewish organizations. I am glad they made an arrest. "When requested, we comply quickly and responsibly with lawful requests from all levels of law enforcement, and we have built specific tools to prevent abuse".

"He didn't use regular phone lines". Israeli police say they don't know the motive, yet.

This article has been updated to include statements by the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect and the JCC Association of North America.

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