U.S. prosecutors in New York arrested a St. Louis man on Friday in connection with at least eight bomb threats made against Jewish organizations across the country. Juan Thompson, 31, was taken into custody on Friday morning in St. Louis and was expected to make an initial court appearance there later in the day, according to Reuters. It was not immediately clear whether investigators believe Thompson is responsible for all of the more than 100 threats that have been made by phone to Jewish community centers in dozens of states since January.
Police said last weekend that about 100 headstones were toppled at a Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia, about a week after a Jewish cemetery in St. Louis was vandalized.
Previously, President Trump, Israeli officials and Jewish groups have all condemned the surge in intimidation as well as cases of vandalism targeting Jewish cemeteries. On several occasions Trump was accused of being indirectly responsible for the surge in anti-Jewish sentiment due to his "polarizing rhetoric" and slammed for his question whether the attacks were driven by "false flag" reasons; as it turns out, at least in this specific, the narrative was wrong again and Trump may have been correct once again.
In a criminal complaint filed in federal court in Manhattan, authorities accused Thompson of making at least eight threats, mostly by email. The New York Times reports that Juan made some threats in his own name and others in the name of an ex-girlfriend. The full court document (previewed below) shows the full details of charges filed against him.
The smoking gun tweet:
As Reuters adds, based on Thompson's Twitter account, which provided some of the evidence cited in the criminal complaint, the defendant appears to be a former reporter for The Intercept, a website focused on national security and personal privacy founded in the aftermath of the Edward Snowden revelations.
The Juan Thompson who was arrested for making JCC threats appears to be the same one fired from the intercept for manufacturing stories pic.twitter.com/Y6wgKEIhYa— Mazel Tov Cocktail (@AdamSerwer) March 3, 2017
Thompson was fired from the website last year for allegedly fabricating quotes and sources, The Intercept said in February 2016.
The Intercept recently discovered a pattern of deception in the actions of a staff member. The employee, Juan Thompson, was a staff reporter from November 2014 until last month. Thompson fabricated several quotes in his stories and created fake email accounts that he used to impersonate people, one of which was a Gmail account in my name.
An investigation into Thompson’s reporting turned up three instances in which quotes were attributed to people who said they had not been interviewed. In other instances, quotes were attributed to individuals we could not reach, who could not remember speaking with him, or whose identities could not be confirmed. In his reporting Thompson also used quotes that we cannot verify from unnamed people whom he claimed to have encountered at public events. Thompson went to great lengths to deceive his editors, creating an email account to impersonate a source and lying about his reporting methods.
According to Breaking 911, which also has confirmed Juan Thompson’s identity, describing his profile as being “full of anti-semitic and racist tweets.” The outlet lists several anti-Trump tweets from Thompson.
In another racially charged tweet, Thompson claims "Make no mistake. Trump is a developer. This is his and the white establishment's effort to remove black ppl from the southside of Chicago"
Make no mistake. Trump is a developer. This is his and the white establishment's effort to remove black ppl from the southside of Chicago. https://t.co/fe47RB8gQU— Juan M. Thompson (@JuanMThompson) February 24, 2017
According to his twitter profile, Juan Thompson also apparently voted for Bernie Sanders.
I voted for Bernie Sanders, but his supporters are annoying as fuck. "I almost cried when I got a Bernie sign". Yuck. #DemsInPhilly— Juan M. Thompson (@JuanMThompson) July 26, 2016
News of his arrest has resulted in fierce outcry from conservatives, who had previously been blamed by liberals for the bomb threats. Following the threats, various Jewish groups said the vandalism and threats were a sign that anti-Semitic groups have been emboldened by Trump's election. Ironically, the suspect may end up being a person who was an ideological opposite to Trump.
I'm gonna guess Juan Thompson (the man arrested for the threats to JCC) is not the Nazi everyone claimed the committer of this crime was— Seth Drakin (@SethDrakin) March 3, 2017
Juan Thompson took advantage of rising antisemitism to intimidate and terrorize his ex-girlfriend. The narrative is about as bad as it gets. pic.twitter.com/JM5MsBnYoM— O General My General (@rideatdawn) March 3, 2017
And with that, it's time to change the "anti-Trump" narrative once again.