On Friday, dual U.S./Israeli citizen Michael Ron David Kadar, 18, was charged with “making threatening calls to Jewish Community Centers in Florida, conveying false information to police dispatch regarding harm to private residents in Georgia, and cyberstalking.”
According to the Justice Department, “The investigation into violent threats to Jewish Community Centers, schools and other institutions across this nation continues, including an ongoing investigation into potential hate crime charges.” Kadar was arrested in Israel.
A federal criminal complaint filed in Orlando, Florida alleges, “Beginning on or about Jan. 4, 2017, and continuing until March 7, 2017, Kadar made multiple threatening calls involving bomb threats and active shooter threats to numerous Jewish Community Centers throughout Florida. Although no actual explosives were found, many of the calls resulted in the temporary closure and evacuation or lockdown of the targeted facilities, and required law enforcement and emergency personnel to respond and clear the area.”
Another federal criminal complaint filed in Macon, Georgia, charges “that on or about Jan. 3, 2017, Kadar made a phone call to a police department conveying false information about an alleged violent emergency situation concerning multiple individuals at a private residence in Athens, Georgia. Police and emergency personnel responded to the scene, only to learn that there was no emergency.”
“Today’s charges into these violent threats to Jewish Community Centers and others represent this Department’s commitment to fighting all forms of violent crime,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “These threats of violence instilled terror in Jewish and other communities across this country and our investigation into these acts as possible hate crimes continues.”
Director James Comey of the Federal Bureau of Investigation commented that Kadar’s actions were much more than just a harmless prank. “It scares innocent people, disrupts entire communities, and expends limited law enforcement resources,” he said.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Tom Wheeler of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division noted that such violent threats “are an attack on the very fabric of our society and will not be tolerated.”
“Kadar allegedly took extraordinary steps to conceal his identity and location through several technological means, including voice alteration, use of proxy IP addresses, virtual currencies and caller ID spoofing,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth E. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “Thanks to the specialized training and expertise of our investigative team, we were successful in identifying, locating and apprehending the person accused of this despicable campaign of threats.”
The DOJ noted that a criminal complaint “is merely an allegation and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.”
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U.S. citizenship of terrorist operative revoked