Suspect in JCC threats: black leftist

The first person arrested in anti-Semitic threat probe is Juan Thompson. His motive: stalking ex-girlfriend.

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Guy Cohen,

FBI agent. Illustration
FBI agent. Illustration
צילום: istock

The FBI on Friday arrested a man in St. Louis, Missouri and accused him of making at least eight threats against Jewish institutions across the country.

Juan Thompson, 31, is being accused of launching a "campaign to harass and intimidate."

Thompson allegedly made eight threats against Jewish Community Centers (JCCs), a Jewish museum, and the Anti-Defamation League, according to the complaint filed by the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan. Some of the threats were in his name while others were in the name of an ex-girlfriend from New York City, whom Thompson is accused of cyber stalking.

Thompson, a black man, had worked as a reporter for The Intercept, a left-wing website, from late 2014 to early 2016, when he was fired for fabricating sources in his articles, according to the site's editor in chief, Betsy Reed.

The suspect allegedly made the threats from Jan. 28 to Feb. 22 against JCCs and Jewish schools in New York, Michigan, Dallas, and San Diego, the Anti-Defamation League office in New York, and a Jewish history museum in New York.

Authorities believe Thompson was a "copycat" who made the threats to harass a woman with whom he once had a romantic relationship. In one case, Thompson allegedly emailed a JCC in San Diego saying the woman wanted to "kill as many Jews asap."

"Today, we have charged Juan Thompson with allegedly stalking a former romantic interest by, among other things, making bomb threats in her name to Jewish Community Centers and to the Anti-Defamation League," U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara said Friday, according to NBC 4. "Threats of violence targeting people and places based on religion or race–whatever the motivation–are unacceptable, un-American, and criminal."

Thompson is not considered to be the main culprit in the wave of more than 100 bomb threats against Jewish institutions since January. However, his arrest flies in the face of those who believe that those threats were made by white supremacists.