An 18-year old man with dual Israeli-American citizenship was arrested by Israeli authorities Thursday for making bomb threats against various Jewish institutions around the world, including JCCs in the United States, various media outlets reported.
The Jerusalem Post reported that the person arrested was a resident of Ashkelon, Israel. While reports of the suspect’s exact age differ, Paul Goldenberg, the director of the Secure Community Network, said he is 18.
Goldenberg said FBI senior leadership briefed his organization as well as leaders of several Jewish institutions Thursday morning and expressed the belief that the man is responsible for the majority of the more than 100 threats that have been made since January. However he emphasized that the FBI’s investigation is still active and there could be more copycats that have not been caught.
“We are very very appreciative of the tremendous efforts put forth by the FBI,” he said. The community should have the highest levels of confidence in the American law enforcement system. They have committed tremendous assets to us.”
Last month, a disgraced American journalist was arrested for making several of the threats.
Ron Halber, the executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington, expressed gratitude to the FBI and Israeli law enforcement for their work in making the latest arrest but said the Jewish community still does not have closure.
“While we’re glad this person is apprehended, by no means does it diminish the fact that we need to continue cracking down on anti-Semitism in American society and have strong security. Just because they were responsible for the majority does not mean there isn’t somebody else out there who made these calls.”
This story will be updated as we receive more information.