Suspect Arrested in Wave of Bomb Threats Against Jewish Institutions

A former journalist is accused of making at least eight of the scores of recent bomb threats against Jewish schools, community centers and museums.

Juan Thompson was arrested in St. Louis on Friday for making at least eight bomb threats against Jewish schools, community centers and museums across the country.

Federal officials claim his motive was to harass and frame his ex-girlfriend, reports the Associated Press. The arrest comes as authorities are investigating 122 bomb threats and vandalism incidents that have occurred across the nation since Jan. 9.

A criminal complaint alleges that Thompson started making his threats Jan. 28 by emailing the Jewish History Museum in New York from an account that made it appear it was owned by his ex-girlfriend.  The email said, “Juan Thompson put 2 bombs in the History Museum set to go off Sunday.” Similar messages were sent to a school in Michigan and a school and community center in New York.

The complaint also says that additional emails and phone calls were made by Thompson where he mentioned his ex-girlfriend by name. One email was sent to the Council on American-Islamic Relations claiming his ex put a bomb in a Dallas Jewish center.

Police say that the hoax was intended to make his ex-girlfriend look guilty, claiming that the bomb threats were just the latest in a serious of bizarre actions by Thompson. He dated the woman until last summer. When they broke up, Thompson began emailing inflammatory accusations about his ex to her employer.

Additionally, Thompson had worked as a journalist for The Intercept but was fired after being accused of making up quotes and creating fake email accounts to impersonate people. Another journalist based in St. Louis also alleges Thompson tried to frame him for sexual assault via claims posted on anonymous Twitter accounts.

With the bomb threats, the FBI believes Thompson was a copycat, reports CBS. Authorities continue to investigate the other recent threats and vandalism incidents against Jewish institutions.

Thompson has been charged with cyberstalking. It’s not clear why he targeted Jewish institutions.

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