This story has taken a turn. Israeli police have announced that they have arrested a suspect for making bomb threats to Jewish community centers across the United States. There have been more than 150 such threats so far this year, forcing evacuations to search for devices in 37 states. No bombs were found, but the disruption has been substantial and traced by many commentators (see, e.g., here) to the rise of the alt-right in the era of Trump.
Oops. Israeli police say the suspect is a 19 year-old Jewish man who used anonymizer software to cover his tracks. No public info on his name yet, but I’d guess the software wasn’t all that anonymizing. Hopefully this arrest will bring an end to the latest wave of threats. The Israeli police spokesman certainly suggests this one guy is responsible:
Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the suspect’s motives remain unclear.
He said the suspect is “the guy who was behind the JCC threats,” referring to Jewish community centres in the US that have received dozens of anonymous bomb threats in recent weeks.
The FBI has confirmed the arrest.
The two arrests so far for the JCC bomb threats turned out to be an ex-Intercept reporter trying to frame a former lover and a Jewish man, motives currently unknown. If this seems familiar, look no further than the casual pattern of journalists and commentators blaming the right (or in this case, the alt-right) for crimes that later turn out to have been committed by others. It certainly puts a different light on President Trump’s odd statement that anti-Semitic attacks might be coming from “the reverse” to “make people look bad.” Dare we ask, could Trump have been right?