A teenager with dual Israeli-U.S. citizenship has been charged with cyberstalking and making hoax bomb threats to Jewish community centers in Florida and Georgia, the Department of Justice said Friday.
Michael Ron David Kadar, 18, who was arrested last month in Israel, was named in a federal complaint alleging that from January through March he phoned in bomb threats and active shooter threats to numerous Jewish Community Centers throughout Florida, prompting the facilities to be temporarily shut down or evacuated. His alleged actions sent waves of fear through Jewish communities in the U.S.
The Jewish Community Relations Council of New York said Kadar was arrested on suspicion of making more than 100 bomb threats against Jewish centers in the U.S, Canada, Australia and New Zealand over the past six months, adding that his motive for the alleged actions "remains unknown."
In one case, Kadar allegedly called the Maimonides Hebrew Day School in Firt Myers, Fla., warning that a bomb filled with shrapnel would go off, targeting students. The complaint alleged that Kadar, in a phone call to the school, warned that the shrapnel would "rip off their heads."
A complaint was filed in Georgia charging Kadar with calling a police department with false information involving individuals at a private residence in Athens, Ga.
“This kind of behavior is not a prank, and it isn't harmless. It’s a federal crime,” FBI director James Comey said. “It scares innocent people, disrupts entire communities and expends limited law enforcement resources."
The complaints alleged the teenager took "extraordinary steps to conceal his identity" when making threats, including using voice alteration techniques and proxy IP addresses online.