Israeli-American Bomb Threat Suspect Ordered to Remain in Detention for Another Week

The 18-year-old is suspected of being behind a host of fake bomb threats that prompted the evacuation of numerous U.S. Jewish community centers.

The Israeli-American teen, arrested for bomb threats against Jewish centers worldwide, in court, Be'er Sheva, March 23, 2017.
Tomer Appelbaum

An Israeli-American teen who is suspected of being behind a string of fake bomb threats directed at U.S. Jewish community centers and other targets worldwide was ordered by an Israeli judge on Thursday to remain in detention for another week. 

The order was issued by a Rishon Letzion Magistrate's court judge at the end of a hearing attended by the teen and his father, who is also under investigation over suspicions that he may have been aware of his son's activities. The father was released to house arrest subject to other restrictions.

The teen, who is 18 but whose name has not been disclosed, has both American and Israeli citizenship. He is suspected of having telephoned a host of bomb threats that prompted the evacuation of numerous Jewish community centers and other Jewish institutions in the United States and attracted wide media coverage.

The cybercrimes unit of the Israel Police arrested the teen suspect a week ago after receiving intelligence from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and other foreign agencies. Police seized computers and other items that investigators said had helped the teen evade detection.

The Israeli army had refused to draft the teen after finding him unfit for service. His lawyer, Galit Bash, said he suffers severe medical problems that may affect his cognitive abilities. He is said to have a benign brain tumor and to have been home-schooled by his parents.

In separate legal proceedings in the United States, another individual, Juan Thompson of St. Louis, is suspected of making threats against at least eight Jewish community centers, schools and other facilities to harass his girlfriend. The U.S. government alleges in court papers that he sometimes emailed threats using the woman's name or used his name but claimed she was trying to implicate him.

AP contributed to this report.