Additional details have emerged about the threat-making services offered on the online black market by an American-Israeli Jewish teen charged with threatening to bomb Jewish community center and schools across the U.S.
The young man, whose identity is barred from publication under Israeli law because he was a minor when committing the alleged crimes, used the username Darknet_Legend to advertise a “School Email Bomb Threat Service,” documents unsealed by U.S. courts revealed this week.
According to the prosecution documents, the teen offered his service on AlphaBay, the biggest market on the dark net, which was shut down last month after an international law enforcement effort. AlphaBay founder Alexander Cazes, 25, was captured in Thailand last month and reportedly committed suicide in jail.
The new document, a newly unsealed search warrant, was found by Seamus Hughes, deputy director of the Program on Extremism at George Washington University. It shows that on top of his phone-threat business, the teen was offering to email threats to schools, for prices ranging from $30 to $90 per threat.
Darknet_Legend provided an orderly price list for the service. For instance, a threat on a single school cost $30, and a threat on a single school and attempt to frame somebody else by email cost $45. If multiple schools were to be targeted, or a whole education county, that cost $60; a adding a frame jacked up the price to $90.
“This is unique emailing service for all of you, I email bomb threats to schools on your requests. If you feel you need someone to do this job for you then this service is for you,” the teen wrote.
He also had an elaborate list of conditions for accepting a request, starting from his right to “refuse to work with you in any case” and maintaining confidentiality. The teen also specified his refund policy in the event of evidence of an ineffective threat. Regarding the effort to frame someone else, he stipulated that he would add that name to the email, but that there was no guarantee it would work.
AlphaBay even published a positive review of Darknet_Legend's phone service, apparently a day after threatening emails were sent to the Rancho Cotate High School in Rohnert Park, California: “Amazing on time and on target. We got evacuated and got the day cut short.”
The American-Israeli teen is charged with making threatening phone calls to Jewish institutions, airlines, schools, police stations, and in trying to blackmail an American legislator. Altogether he is accused of threatening about 2,000 targets in Israel and around the world. The Israeli indictment states that he made almost 900,000 shekels in Bitcoin.
The suspect's lawyer, Shira Nir, claimed when the indictment was served that he is a youngster suffering from severe medical problems. She accused the prosecution of depicting him as a crook when it was "clear to any thinking person that he is a helpless youngster on the autistic scale, suffering from a tumor in his head and with psychiatric symptoms."
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