Arrest made in threats to Jewish community centres

2017-03-03 20:00
Las Vegas K-9 police officers search the Jewish Community Centre of Southern Nevada after a suspicious phone call. (Ethan Miller, AFP)

Las Vegas K-9 police officers search the Jewish Community Centre of Southern Nevada after a suspicious phone call. (Ethan Miller, AFP)

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New York - A jilted ex-boyfriend is behind at least eight of the scores of threats made against Jewish Community Centres nationwide, plus a bomb threat to New York's Anti-Defamation League, in an effort to harass and vilify his former girlfriend, federal officials said on Friday.

Juan Thompson was arrested in St Louis and will appear in federal court in Missouri on a charge of cyberstalking, authorities said.

According to a federal complaint, Thompson dated the woman until last summer, when they broke up. The following day, her boss received an email purporting to be from a national news organisation saying that she'd been pulled over for drunken driving.

The harassment got worse from there, federal officials said. The Anti-Defamation League received an email on February 21 that said she was behind the bomb threats to JCCs and there'd be more the next day. It received a phoned-in bomb threat on February 22.

He also claimed she was responsible for placing a bomb in a Jewish centre in Dallas and he also emailed a JCC in San Diego saying she wanted to "kill as many Jews asap".

Federal officials have been investigating 122 bomb threats called into nearly 100 JCC schools, child care and other similar facilities in three dozen states.

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