Friday, 3 March 2017

Disgraced former Intercept reporter accused of making at least 8 bomb threats to Jewish community centers

jewish community center

The FBI appears to have arrested former Intercept reporter Juan Thompson in connection with making bomb threats to at least eight Jewish community centers, schools, and the Anti-Defamation League's Manhattan headquarters, authorities said Friday.

Thompson allegedly made some of the threats in the name of an ex-girlfriend as part of a "sustained campaign to harass and intimidate" her, according to a criminal complaint. He has also been charged with one count of cyberstalking.

In the complaint, authorities cited tweets from Thompson that mentioned the ex-girlfriend as well as bomb threats.

"Know any good lawyers? Need to stop this nasty/racist #whitegirl I dated who sent a bomb threat in my name wants me to be raped in jail," one of the cited tweets read.

A Twitter search reveals that the tweet was sent by Thompson using the handle @juanmthompson, which is listed on the Intercept's website as the former reporter who was fired last year after being accused of fabricating quotes and creating fake email accounts to impersonate sources and an editor.

Authorities have been investigating a slew of threats targeting dozens of JCCs in recent months. Police sources told ABC News and NBC News that they don’t believe Thompson is the main suspect behind most of these threats.

Thompson allegedly sent defamatory emails and faxes to the victim's employer, accusing her of making anti-Semitic social media posts.

The complaint also accused Thompson of emailing a threat last week to the Anti-Defamation League naming the woman and saying she was "behind the bomb threats against the jews [sic]."

Another threat made anonymously to a Manhattan JCC last month said Thompson "put two bombs in the office of the Jewish center today. He wants to create Jewish newtown tomorrow," according to the complaint.

"The defendant allegedly caused havoc, expending hundreds of hours of police and law enforcement resources to respond and investigate these threats," New York Police Department Commissioner James O'Neill told media Friday.

In a statement, The Intercept called Thompson's alleged actions "heinous" and said it had no further information about the charges against him.

"We were horrified to learn this morning that Juan Thompson, a former employee of The Intercept, has been arrested in connection with bomb threats against the ADL and multiple Jewish Community Centers in addition to cyberstalking," the statement read.

Thompson is due to appear in federal court in St. Louis later on Friday.

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