The Justice Department said on Friday that it was charging the suspect, 18, with making threatening calls to JCCs in Florida, conveying false information to the police and cyber stalking.
The teen was arrested in Israel last month for making more than 100 threats against Jewish sites in the US. He allegedly made threatening calls to JCCs in Florida between January and March 2017, according to a statement posted by a Buzz- Feed journalist on Twitter. The suspect also allegedly made a call regarding a false emergency at a private home in Georgia.
“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 in a statement.
“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,” Sessions continued.
The suspect’s parents and attorney have said he has a benign brain tumor that affects his behavior.
In a statement on Thursday evening, Jonathan A. Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation league, said the ADL welcomes the charges, and further, “While we have the utmost respect for Israel’s law enforcement authorities and its criminal justice system, we think it is entirely appropriate for the alleged perpetrator to face criminal charges in the United States.
“The serious disruption of lives and services happened here in the United States; the alleged perpetrator should face charges here. We urge the Israeli government to work cooperatively with the Justice Department in the investigation and, if the investigation warrants, to support an American extradition request and work in partnership to ensure a successful prosecution in the US.”
The president and CEO of the JCC Association of North America, Doron Krakow, also welcomed the move to charge the suspect and said the organization takes great satisfaction in the leadership of Sessions and the cooperation between the Department of Justice, the FBI and Israeli law enforcement.
“As the investigation and pursuit of justice, not only in this case but in the cases of all of the perpetrators of these threats, continue to unfold, we are enormously proud of the extraordinary commitment to safety and security undertaken in JCCs across the United States and Canada each and every day, a commitment that has insured that our JCCs continue to serve our communities with great distinction,” Krakow added.