UPDATED | March 3, 2017 3PM
NEW YORK (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — A jilted ex-boyfriend is behind at least eight of the scores of threats made against Jewish Community Centers 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 Friday.
There were also threats made to at least three North Texas Jewish Community Centers.
Juan Thompson, 31, was arrested in St. Louis and will appear in federal court in Missouri on Friday afternoon on a charge of cyberstalking, authorities said. There was no information on an attorney who could comment on his behalf.
Cheryl Drazin is with the Anti-Defamation League’s regional office and says they have had their eyes on Thompson for a while.
“Thompson had announced in November 2016 that he was running for mayor of St. Louis. That he wanted to dismantle the system of racial supremacy and greedy capitalism that was stacked against the people. He also tweeted ‘white people were trash and had no shame’,” she says.
“Jewish institutions in Dallas has been working very closely with law enforcement for a very long time. The staff at the JCCs are trained and know what to do.”
Federal officials have been investigating 122 bomb threats called in to nearly 100 Jewish Community College schools, child care and other similar facilities in three dozen states. The first wave of calls started January 9. Thompson made threats in his name and in the woman’s name, and his first one was Jan. 28 to the Jewish History Museum in Manhattan, authorities said. Federal authorities say Thompson made up an email address to make it seem like the woman was sending threats in his name. He made threats this way to Jewish schools in Farmington Hills, Michigan, and Manhattan and to a JCC in Manhattan, authorities said.
He also made threats in the woman’s name, authorities said. An email sent February 21 to the Anti-Defamation League said the woman was behind threats made against “jews,” authorities said.
“She lives in NYC and is making more bomb threats tomorrow,” the email said, according to federal authorities.
The ADL received a phoned-in threat of a bomb that would detonate the next day. The threat was a hoax.
He sent a note to the San Diego JCC, too, and wrote that the woman “hates Jewish people and is the head of a ring and put a bomb in the center to kill as many Jews asap,” authorities said.
According to a federal complaint, the couple broke up last summer. The following day, the woman’s boss received an email purporting to be from a national news organization saying that she’d been pulled over for drunken driving.
Thompson is also a former journalist who was fired from the Intercept last year after he was accused of fabricating several quotes and creating fake email accounts to impersonate people, one of whom was the Intercept’s editor-in-chief, Betsy Reed. One of the stories involved Dylann Roof, the Charleston, South Carolina, church shooter.
The ADL said Friday that Thompson had been on its radar ever since he fabricated the story about Roof.
KRLD 1080’s Austin York contributed to this report. Click here to follow him on Twitter.
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