FBI Charges Former Intercept Journalist With Making Threats Against JCCs

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Police search a Nevada JCC after a suspicious phone call. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The FBI has charged a St. Louis man with making at least eight threats to Jewish Community Centers across the country and to the Anti-Defamation League in Manhattan as a part of a “campaign to harass and intimidate” his ex-girlfriend.

Juan Thompson, 31, made the threats after months of harassing his ex and used both her name and his own when doing so. He would later claim the threats using his name were made by her. Authorities reportedly consider Thompson a “copycat” who only began making threats after seeing reports of others.

Waves of bomb threats have swept Jewish schools and JCCs five different times since January 18, with the most recent wave coming on January 27, when 23 JCCs and Jewish schools had threats called in. The threats cover 81 different locations, in 33 states. Headstones have also been toppled at several Jewish cemeteries.

“No one has been arrested for making the nationwide robocall JCC threats. That’s still an active FBI investigation,” New York State Police spokesman Beau Duffy said Friday.

According to the criminal complaint, Thompson was behind a bomb threat to the ADL headquarters in Manhattan last week, which he emailed in the name of his ex. The email said she was “behind the bomb threats against the jews. She lives in nyc and is making more bomb threats tomorrow.” A bomb threat was made over the phone the next day. Another threat made to a JCC in Manhattan last month included Thompson’s name and said he “wants to create Jewish newtown.”

A Twitter account linked to Thompson references these threats and says his ex-girlfriend was making them in his name in an attempt to smear him. In one tweet, he lamented the threats to JCCs.

Thompson is the same man who was fired from the Intercept last year after it became clear he was fabricating quotes and sources. His most widely read piece was an interview with the cousin of Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof. The cousin did not exist.

FBI Charges Ex-Journalist With Making Threats Against JCCs