ST. LOUIS – The Missouri man accused of making threats against at least eight Jewish institutions has been indicted in New York, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Juan Thompson is charged in New York with one federal count of cyberstalking. He was in court in St. Louis for a preliminary hearing when the indictment was handed up by a federal grand jury in the Southern District of New York Wednesday, the paper reports. The indictment eliminated the need for the preliminary hearing and Thompson reportedly waived an identity hearing – admitting that he was the man charged in the case.
He will now be transported to New York to face the charge.
Federal officials have been investigating bomb threats called and emailed in to numerous Jewish Community Center schools, child care and similar facilities across the country that began Jan. 9. Thompson allegedly started making his own threats Jan. 28. He is not accused of making all the threats, and authorities are continuing to investigate many of the incidents, they said.
Federal authorities say Thompson’s threats were part of a bizarre plot to harass and frame an ex-girlfriend. He was arrested March 3.
Thompson’s first threat was to the Jewish History Museum in Manhattan, authorities said. He allegedly made up an email address to make it seem like his former girlfriend was sending threats in his name, and also sent messages to Jewish schools in Farmington Hills, Michigan, and Manhattan and to a JCC in Manhattan, authorities said. The Council on American-Islamic Relations also received an anonymous email saying the woman put a bomb in a Dallas Jewish center.
But police say it was all a hoax, created to make the woman look guilty. He also allegedly made threats in which he identified the woman as the culprit. Among other allegations, he is accused of sending a note to the San Diego JCC that said the woman “hates Jewish people and is the head of a ring and put a bomb in the center to kill as many Jews asap,” authorities said.
Thompson, a former journalist, was fired from the online publication The Intercept last year after being accused of fabricating several quotes and creating fake email accounts to impersonate people.
A judge ordered him held in jail until trial, saying his release on bond would “not reasonably assure the court that he will not endanger the safety of any other person or the community,” the Post-Dispatch reports.