Israeli-American teen charged with making anti-Semitic bomb threats | News | DW | 24.04.2017
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Israeli-American teen charged with making anti-Semitic bomb threats

The 18-year-old has been indicted by a Tel Aviv court for making more than 2,000 violent threats. He is accused of offering "make a threat" services on the dark web.

Israel charged 18-year-old Michael Kadar on Monday with making more than 2,000 threats against Jewish organizations, police stations, and an airplane carrying the Boston Celtics professional basketball team. The Israeli-American teen was further charged with extortion, money laundering, drug trafficking and possessing child pornography, according to Israel's Justice Ministry.

He has also been charged in the United States, but Israel said the man from the southern city of Ashkelon would be tried in Tel Aviv, since many of his crimes were carried out in the country.

"He committed offences not only in the United States but also in a dozen other countries which have actively cooperated in the investigation," a justice ministry official told French news agency AFP.

The teen, who was a minor during some of the offenses, is alleged to have made violent threats online and by phone against such entities as El Al and Delta Airlines flights, Delaware state Senator Ernesto Lopez, Jewish schools, hospitals, and community centers. On top of the US and Israel, his targets were reportedly as far-flung as New Zealand, Norway, Denmark, Australia and the UK.

Suspect accused of offering "make a threat" service

According to the indictment, Kadar used the dark web to earn $240,000 for his "make-a-threat," services. Calls and online threats like the ones the teen made have been on the rise in recent months, leading to concerns that the rise of US President Donald Trump and his inflammatory rhetoric were causing a wave of anti-Semitism across the country.

But according to Kadar's US-born mother and Israeli father, their son has autism and brain damage and cannot be held responsible for his actions.

"He has high-level autism. I appeal to the world on his behalf for forgiveness for he does not know what he has done," his mother told the press. "This tumor has caused a state of some type of mental dysfunction that he is not aware of what he is doing. My son does not hate anyone."

Report: Anti-Semitic incidents jump 86% in early 2017

On the same day, the US' Anti-Defamation League (ADL), warned about the rise of anti-Semitism across the country as the election of President Trump has created a "heightened political atmosphere."

The ADL's "Audit of anti-Semitic Incidents" said that the number of incidents targeting Jewish people and institutions had risen 34 percent in 2016, only to jump another 86 percent in the first quarter of 2017 as compared to the same time frame the previous year.

The total number of incidents for 2016 was 1,266. This included physical assault and harassment, school bullying, vandalism, and violent threats.

"We must stamp out prejudice and anti-Semitism everywhere it is found," President Trump said at the World Jewish Congress Plenary Assembly as Jews across the world marked Yom HaShoah, Israel's Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The leader of the ADL's Center on Extremism, Oren Segal, said that the majority of anti-Semitic incidents were carried out by individuals, not radical hate groups, and should not be viewed in a narrative of resurgent white supremacy.

"Anti-Semitism is not the sole domain of any one group, and needs to be challenged wherever and whenever it arises," read a statement by Segal.

es/bw (AFP, Reuters)

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