JERUSALEM — An Israeli-American teenager was arrested Friday in connection to a series of bomb threats at Jewish Community Centers (JCC) around the world – including two evacuations of Jewish Centers in Minnesota.
The last bomb threat was called in to the St. Paul Jewish Community Center as reported by Alpha News in late February. The first surrounded the St. Louis Park Community Center in late January. Both bomb threats were part of a series of threats occurring around the world.
The FBI released a statement Friday morning, “Early this morning in Israel, the FBI and Israeli National Police worked jointly to locate and arrest the individual suspected for threats to Jewish organizations across the United States and in other parts of the world. The FBI commends the great work of the Israeli National Police in this investigation.”
According to Avi Mayer, spokesman for The Jewish Agency – a nonprofit advancing the future of Israel based in Jerusalem, the suspect is a 19 year-old male arrested by Israeli police. Mayer states the arrest was made in conjunction with an international investigation involving the FBI.
BREAKING: Israel Police arrests 19-year-old Israeli for calling in fake bomb threats to various institutions in Israel and around the world.
— Avi Mayer (@AviMayer) March 23, 2017
Attorney General Jeff Sessions also released a statement reiterating the Department of Justice’s commitment to protecting the civil rights of all.
“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,” Sessions said, “I commend the FBI and Israeli National Police for their outstanding work on this case.”
A New York Police official who spoke with CNN said, “Most of the bomb threats were believed to have been made by one person using technology to disguise his voice to sound like a woman’s, while the other threats likely were made by copycats.”
In his first speech to a joint session of Congress, President Donald Trump condemned the JCC bomb threats and vandalism of Jewish cemeteries. Trump reiterated that hate had no place in the country.
According to The New York Times, the suspect has no connections to Juan Thompson, a former journalist for The Intercept, arrested last month in connection to half a dozen bomb threat calls to Jewish community centers, schools and a Jewish history museum.