Bomb Threats Ripple Across American Jewish Communities

Aude Guerrucci  DPA  ZUMA

Juan Thompson of St. Louis allegedly made at least eight of the threats, according to a criminal complaint unsealed Friday by the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of NY.

Thompson is due to appear in federal court in St. Louis later on Friday. "We are committed to pursuing and prosecuting those who foment fear and hate through such criminal threats", U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a press release.

The agency said the threats were made as part of an effort by Thompson to harass an unnamed former girlfriend.

Some of the threats were made in his name, and he tried to pin them on the woman and say she was framing him, the complaint said.

Annapolis Police say they received a report of a bomb threat at a Jewish Day School this morning.

The group said it had been told of an "arrest made" by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the New York Police Department and the New York State Police, according to a posting on its Twitter account.

A community center and day school in Irvine were among several Jewish facilities across the USA that were evacuated Monday during a rash of bomb threats.

Waves of bomb threats have swept Jewish schools and JCCs five different times since January 18, with the most recent wave coming on January 27, when 23 JCCs and Jewish schools had threats called in.

The Anti-Defamation League said earlier Friday it had been informed by federal and NY law enforcement officials that an arrest had been made in connection with the bomb threats.

The FBI is apparently concerned that the large volume of calls would lead organizations to ignore future threats and not evacuate their facilities, which "could present an opportunity for a location loaded with kids to be bombed", ABC News reported.

Over the past 45 days there have been an estimated 190 incidents targeting Jews and Jewish institutions throughout the United States, including verbal and written threats and vandalism.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he ordered the State Police to investigate the threats.

That Twitter account was also linked to journalist Juan Thompson, who wrote for online publication The Intercept from late 2014 until early 2016, but was sacked after the publication accused him of fabricating quotes and sources.

This is a developing story.

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