The U.S.-Israeli dual citizen accused of making dozens of threats to Jewish community centers was slapped with several federal charges, the Justice Department announced Friday.
Michael Ron David Kadar, 18, was charged with making threats, conveying false information to police and cyberstalking, according to a DOJ press release.
He was arrested in Israel in March after a joint investigation by the FBI and Israeli police. It wasn’t immediately clear which country he was in as of Friday, and, if he were still in Israel, whether he’d be extradited to the U.S. The DOJ declined to comment.
Since the new year, more than 80 Jewish community centers in the U.S. and Canada and 10 Jewish day schools received more than 120 threats. The Anti-Defamation League was also targeted. The threats, spread across dozens of states and several countries, prompted many evacuations, but none resulted in an attack.
Interestingly, Kadar was charged with “multiple threats” made only in Florida, despite the FBI noting in March that the suspect in custody had made the “bulk of the calls.” It’s unclear whether that means the DOJ could only provide enough evidence to pin the Florida calls on him at the moment, or if there’s another suspect still on the loose. The DOJ and FBI both declined to comment further. The press release states that an investigation continues, as well as a probe into possible hate crime charges.
“Today’s charges into these violent threats to Jewish Community Centers and others represent this department’s commitment to fighting all forms of violent crime,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said. “These threats of violence instilled terror in Jewish and other communities across this country and our investigation into these acts as possible hate crimes continues.”
A large chunk of the threats made in the U.S. since January came in waves, and many of the calls came from a similar robotic voice. Authorities said the caller was using technology to disguise his voice, and Israeli police reportedly found computers, an antenna and other equipment in Kadar’s home that would allow him to make calls that are difficult to detect.