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Jewish Israeli Arrested Over Bomb Threats Against US Jewish Centers

  • VOA News

Rabbi Joshua Bolton of the University of Pennsylvania's Hillel center surveys damaged headstones at Mount Carmel Cemetery, Feb. 27, 2017, in Philadelphia.

Police in Israel say they have arrested a 19-year-old Jewish Israeli man suspected of calling in a string of bomb threats to Jewish Community Centers across the United States.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the suspect is “the guy who was behind the JCC threats,” referring to the dozens of bomb threats called in to Jewish centers in recent weeks.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the arrest followed a "large-scale investigation spanning multiple continents" and cooperation between international law enforcement agencies.

Rosenfeld did not provide a motive for the suspect’s alleged bomb threats, but said he also made threats in New Zealand and Australia.

Sessions said, "The Department of Justice is committed to protecting the civil rights of all Americans, and we will not tolerate the targeting of any community in this country on the basis of their religious beliefs"

U.S. authorities arrested another man earlier this month in connection with several bomb threats called into Jewish venues.

The Justice Department accused Juan Thompson, 31, of St. Louis, Missouri, of making the threatening calls as a way to harass his unnamed ex-girlfriend.

The department said Thompson also made several threats under his own name, in an attempt to make it look like the woman was trying to frame him.

The bomb threats allegedly called in by Thompson and the Israeli suspect came as part of a wave of threats made to about 100 Jewish institutions earlier this year.

The threats forced many of the centers to be evacuated and created a sense of fear among many in the Jewish community.

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