European Jewish Congress
Israeli-American man arrested in connection to threats against US Jewish community centres
News and Views
Israeli-American man arrested in connection to threats against US Jewish community centres

A 19-year-old Jewish man who is an Israeli-American dual citizen was arrested on Thursday in Israel in connection with a series of bomb threats made against Jewish community centres and Jewish schools in the United States and other countries. 

The suspect's father has also been arrested for the same charges.

Police believe the man made fake bomb threats in New Zealand and Australia and against scores of Jewish institutions across the US.

The man also allegedly called in fake bomb threats to two Delta flights at New York City's John F. Kennedy International Airport in 2015, according to Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld.

The threats grounded the flights while passengers were evacuated and luggage was rescreened.

The suspect was arrested in his family's home in the southern city of Ashkelon after a months-long investigation that included the FBI and European law enforcement agencies. The teenager resisted arrest, Rosenfeld said, explaining that the teen moved toward one of the arresting officers in what is believed to have been an attempt to grab the officer’s sidearm, but the teen never reached the gun.

Israeli police confiscated several computers, antennas, satellite equipment and other advanced technology. Some of the equipment was allegedly used to "camouflage" the suspect's voice for automated calls, Rosenfeld said. He added that the suspect also allegedly had equipment that allowed him to use many IP addresses, making it hard to trace him.

The suspect's lawyer, Galit Bash, said in a statement, "This is a young man without a criminal record who suffers from serious medical problems from a young age. There is a concern that his medical condition affects his cognitive functions. In light of this, we asked the court to order the young man to undergo a medical examination. The court accepted our arguments and ordered the police to examine the young man's medical condition."

Police have not commented on the teen's motives. It is unclear if he will be tried in Israel or the US, police said.

Jerry Silverman, president and CEO of the Jewish Federations of North America, said it was "heartbreaking to learn that a Jewish man is a prime suspect." 

Across the US this year, there have been five waves of bomb threats at JCCs and Jewish schools. The JCC Association of North America reported 100 incidents this year alone. No bombs were found at any of the locations. 

 Click here to watch the video in ABC

Friday, March 24, 2017
More News
Eight European countries demand compensation from Israel for West Bank demolitions
Eight European Union countries wrote an official protest letter to Israel, demanding over €30,000 in compensation for confiscating and demolishing structures and infrastructure which the countries had built in Area C of the West Bank, which is under full Israeli control.
Subscribe to our Newsletter
Life in Israel
  • First fully disabled-accessible synagogue opened in Jerusalem
    Construction of the first fully disabled-accessible synagogue in Jerusalem is about to be finished, giving disabled worshipers easy access to the compound, with comfortable seating arrangements for wheelchair-bound visitors, Braille bibles and more.

    On Wednesday, October 11, 2017 First fully disabled-accessible synagogue opened in Jerusalem
  • Survey: 60 percent of Arab Israelis have a positive view of the state
    A poll of Israeli Arabs has found that sixty percent surveyed said they had a favourable view of the state, while 37% said their view was unfavourable.

    On Wednesday, October 04, 2017 Survey: 60 percent of Arab Israelis have a positive view of the state
  • Israel's trade with Russia leaps by 25 percent
    Trade between Israel and Russia has grown this year by 25 percent, officials from both countries revealed, amid complications with other Russian trading partners.

    On Wednesday, October 04, 2017 Israel's trade with Russia leaps by 25 percent
  • Israel aims to double the number of people working in hi-tech
    The Israel Innovation Authority aims to double the number of high-tech workers in the country over the next decade, while encouraging companies in older industry to use more technology and become more innovative, the authority said in its annual report released on Sunday.

    On Wednesday, October 04, 2017 Israel aims to double the number of people working in hi-tech
  • 20,000 Gazan lulavs arrive in Israel
    A shipment of 20,000 date palm fronds were transported on Monday from the Gaza Strip to Israel where they were to be sold for use in a traditional Jewish religious ritual during the coming Sukkot holiday, the Defence Ministry said.

    On Wednesday, October 04, 2017 20,000 Gazan lulavs arrive in Israel
  • Israeli intelligence helped to thwart dozens of terror attacks around the world
    The Israeli intelligence community has shared information with other countries over the past two years that has helped thwart dozens of terror attacks about to be perpetrated by Islamists who were in contact with members of Islamic State and Middle Eastern factions identified with Al-Qaida.

    On Thursday, September 28, 2017 Israeli intelligence helped to thwart dozens of terror attacks around the world
  • IDF declares war on smoking
    IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot has approved new measures to combat smoking in the military after new data revealed smoking during army service rose by 40 percent.

    On Wednesday, September 20, 2017 IDF declares war on smoking
  • Thousands take part in race commemorating fallen Druze police officers
    Thousands of participants took part on Friday in a race to commemorate the 421 Druze fighters who fell in all of Israel's battles and terror attacks.

    On Wednesday, September 20, 2017 Thousands take part in race commemorating fallen Druze police officers
  • Tamar and Mohammed top Israel's baby name list
    The most popular baby names in Israel over the past year were Tamar for girls and Mohammad for boys, the two favourites remaining at the top of their lists for the third consecutive year, according to figures released on Sunday by the Interior Ministry.

    On Wednesday, September 20, 2017 Tamar and Mohammed top Israel's baby name list
  • Syrians express gratitude for Israeli field hospitals
    Dozens of Syrian civilians have written letters of gratitude to Israel and the IDF for establishing field hospitals on its northern border which provided, and continue to provide, medical care to numerous victims wounded in the country's ongoing violent civil war.

    On Thursday, September 14, 2017 Syrians express gratitude for Israeli field hospitals
President's Page Security and Crisis Centre by EJC European Parliament Working Group On Antisemitism