Representatives of the umbrella organization of Jewish community centers discussed recent bomb threats against their institutions with US Attorney General Jeff Sessions.Officials from the JCC Association of North America met with Sessions on Thursday, a week after an Israeli teenager was arrested on charges of calling in over 100 bomb threats to JCCs and other American Jewish institutions.Ian Prior, a Justice Department spokesman, said the meeting was “positive and productive” and that Sessions had praised the Jewish leaders “for their responsiveness, efficiency, calm and competence” in dealing with the threats.“The Department of Justice will not tolerate hate crimes against Jewish communities or the targeting of any community in this country on the basis of their religious beliefs,” Prior said, according to media reports.Earlier this month, representatives from the association had written to Sessions to express their frustration with the investigation and to request a meeting.
Two weeks later, on March 23, Israeli police arrested a 19-year-old at his home in Ashkelon. The suspect, who was ordered detained for another week on Wednesday, allegedly used advanced technology and voice-altering equipment to anonymously call in bomb threats to over 100 JCCs, Jewish day schools and other Jewish institutions in the United States.Juan Thompson, a former journalist from St. Louis accused of making at least eight bomb threats against Jewish institutions, was arrested on March 3. At an appearance in federal court on Wednesday, Thompson declined to seek bail and will likely remain in custody until his next hearing on April 10.
US-Israeli teen arrested for bomb threats to JCCs (credit: REUTERS)