Israeli police arrested the suspect in the south of Israel on Thursday morning over false bomb threats against Jewish community centers in the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Israel, in the past three months.
The suspect, 19, from Ashkelon, was detained by International Crime Investigations Unit, after an inquiry with the FBI and other law enforcement agencies. Suspicions arose the threats were coming from Israel. His father was also detained for questioning.
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The suspect’s attorney Galit Bash told Haaretz “this is a young man without a criminal record who from a young age suffers from severe medical problems. There is concern that his medical condition affects his cognitive functioning. Therefore, we asked the court to order that the young man be referred to a medical examination.”
The court instructed the police to examine the suspect’s medical condition.”
In one of the threats on 18 January, the caller said: “In a short time, a large number of Jews are going to be slaughtered.
“There’s going to be a bloodbath that’s going to take place in a short time.”
The suspect used camouflage technologies to disguise his voice and the origin of the dozens of calls.
According of the Israeli police two months ago the young man called Police’s emergency center 100, threatening bombs had been planted in schools across the country. He was using a woman’s voice, but no bombs were found in those schools.
US Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement Thursday that the Justice Department “will not tolerate the targeting of any community in the country on the basis of their religious beliefs.”
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) says there have been more than 120 bomb threats against US Jewish community centers and day schools in the US since January 9th. Those threats led to evacuations of the buildings, upset Jewish communities and raised fears of rising anti-Semitism. The threats were accompanied by acts of vandalism on several Jewish cemeteries.
Last month a 31-year-old ex-US journalist was arrested for several of the threats, as part of campaign against his former girlfriend.