An arrest has been made of a suspect in the epidemic of bomb threats directed against Jewish community centers, schools, and organizations. According to reports, the bomb threats started about six months ago but only gained media attention in the United States after the first of the year because Trump’s Climate of FearTM could be blamed. Via the Jerusalem Post:
An 19 year-old dual US-Israeli citizen from Ashkelon has been arrested on suspicion of standing behind most of a series of bomb and other threats to Jewish communities ranging from the US, Europe, Australia and New Zealand over the past six months, The Jerusalem Post has learned.
As of Thursday, with a gag order on the probe lifted by the Rishon Lezion Magistrate’s Court, which extended his detention, sources indicate that most of the cases of threats against Jewish communities and organizations, though not all, led investigators back to Israel.
There are still few details available about the suspect’s profile, but he is not in the IDF, not ultra-Orthodox, and at some point made aliya and possibly has psychological and social problems.
The suspect’s father has also been detained and is being questioned as to whether he knew about the suspect’s activities, including the suspect’s use of a large antenna and other unusual hardware which could have drawn suspicion.
It is unknown how many others might have worked with the suspect, but it is believed that he was the main operator of the scare-spree and might have even acted completely on his own.
As of Thursday, it was still unclear what the suspect’s motivations were for the scare-spree which made international headlines. In light of the threats, US President Donald Trump faced accusations that he was light on fighting antisemitism when he did not initially condemn the scares along with some vandalism of Jewish graves, which presumably were not connected to the suspect.
We’ve known for a while that authorities suspected that many of the calls originated from overseas. There has always been more reason to believe the calls were not made by actual anti-Semites but rather by people trying to generate a fear of anti-Semitism due to the Climate of FearTM and propagate a favorite leftwing meme, for instance in this classic “explainer” by Vox.com The epidemic of bomb threats against Jewish organizations, explained.
In the first weeks of 2017, at least 90 bomb threats have been called in to Jewish community centers across the country, sending preschool kids scurrying to safety, again and again beyond the walls of their daytime homes. In late February, a historic Jewish cemetery outside Philadelphia was vandalized, with nearly 100 tombstones overturned. On February 27th alone, seven Jewish community community centers, along with the San Francisco office of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), were evacuated after receiving threats.
And for weeks, that surge of anti-Semitic incidents was ignored by President Donald Trump, who repeatedly brushed aside questions about the proposed violence (and had previously released a statement on Holocaust Remembrance Day that didn’t mention Jews). Trump made his first targeted comments about the threats on February 22nd, calling them “horrible and painful”; just over a week later, during his high-profile speech to Congress, Trump specifically condemned the threats and violence, describing them as “hate and evil.”
Note the failure to acknowledge that a rather large number of the threats took place under Obama, but whatever.
Israel intends to prosecute the guy. With any luck, after he finishes his prison term in Israel they’ll deport him and we can give him the long prison term he deserves.