The recent news of a series of threats to Jewish centers in New York has now been solved with a shocking arrest. The FBI has announced that they now have a suspect in custody and he is a disgraced former journalist named Juan Thompson, 31, of St. Louis. Thompson worked at the Intercept media organization and was fired for fabricating stories and quotes.
The announcement was made as charges were filed in a Manhattan Federal court today. Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, made the following statement to media: “Everyone deserves to be free from fear and discrimination based on religion, race, or ethnicity; that is fundamental to who we are as a nation. Together with the FBI and the NYPD, we have been investigating the recent threats made on Jewish Community Centers in New York and around the country. 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. Threats of violence targeting people and places based on religion or race – whatever the motivation – are unacceptable, un-American, and criminal. We are committed to pursuing and prosecuting those who foment fear and hate through such criminal threats.”
FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William F. Sweeney Jr. said, “Thompson’s alleged pattern of harassment not only involved the defamation of his female victim, but his threats intimidated an entire community. The FBI and our partners take these crimes seriously. I would also like to thank the NYPD and the New York State Police, who continue to work shoulder to shoulder with us as we investigate and track down every single threat and work together to achieve justice for our communities that have been victimized by these threats.”
According to the FBI, bomb threats were phoned into 13 JCCs and eight Jewish schools in Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Virginia this week alone. Thompson is allegedly responsible for making at least eight previous threats and supposedly wanted to plant bombs and make a “Jewish Newtown Massacre,” referencing a mass shooting in which 20 children were killed.
As part of his campaign against his ex-girlfriend, Thompson sent emails, faxes and made false reports of crimes to her employer in an attempt to get her fired. According to the FBI, he started making threats against the Jewish centers in January of this year.
Earlier this week, President Trump stated that it may not have been neo-Nazis or White supremacists responsible for the threats against the Jewish centers and apparently he was correct. If convicted, Thompson faces up to five years in federal prison for the threats.