Au­thor­i­ties say man threat­ened Jewish cen­ters to frame his ex

Austin American-Statesman - - MORE OF TODAY’S TOP NEWS -

A for­mer jour­nal­ist fired for fab­ri­cat­ing de­tails in sto­ries made at least eight of the scores of threats against Jewish in­sti­tu­tions na­tion­wide, in­clud­ing a bomb threat to New York’s Anti-Defama­tion League, as part of a cam­paign to ha­rass and frame his ex-girl­friend, fed­eral of­fi­cials said Fri­day.

Juan Thomp­son, 31, was ar­rested in St. Louis and ap­peared there in fed­eral court Fri­day on a cy­ber­stalk­ing charge.

Sup­port­ers who at­tended would say only that Thomp­son had no crim­i­nal record. His lawyer didn’t com­ment.

Fed­eral of­fi­cials have been in­ves­ti­gat­ing 122 bomb threats called in to Jewish or­ga­ni­za­tions in three dozen states since Jan. 9 as well as a rash of van­dal­ism at Jewish ceme­ter­ies.

Thomp­son started mak­ing his threats Jan. 28, a crim­i­nal com­plaint said, with an email to the Jewish His­tory Mu­seum in New York City writ­ten from an ac­count that made it ap­pear as if it was be­ing sent by an ex-girl­friend.

“Juan Thomp­son put 2 bombs in the His­tory Mu­seum set to go off Sun­day,” it said.

He fol­lowed that up with sim­i­lar mes­sages to a Jewish school in Farm­ing­ton Hills, Mich., and to a school and com­mu­nity cen­ter in Man­hat­tan, au­thor­i­ties said.

In an­other round of emails and phone calls, he gave the woman’s name, rather than his own, the court com­plaint said. The Coun­cil on Amer­i­can-Is­lamic Re­la­tions re­ceived an anony­mous email say­ing the woman had put a bomb in a Dal­las Jewish cen­ter.

He also made threats in which he iden­ti­fied the woman as the cul­prit, au­thor­i­ties said. It’s not clear why Jewish or­ga­ni­za­tions were tar­geted.

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