Juan Thompson allegedly waged a campaign of intimidation against a former love interest by calling in bomb threats to multiple Jewish centers and the Anti-Defamation League in her name
A St. Louis man was arrested Friday for allegedly making bomb threats against multiple Jewish Community Centers and the Anti-Defamation League, PEOPLE confirms.
Juan Thompson, 31, allegedly called in the threats in the name of a former love interest as part of a “sustained campaign to harass and intimidate” her by marring her reputation after their relationship ended, according to a criminal complaint filed in the Southern District of New York and obtained by PEOPLE.
Thompson has been charged in New York with cyberstalking and other crimes related to the threats.
Thompson “appears to have made at least eight of the JCC threats,” the complaint states.
However, sources told NBC News that Thompson is not believed to be the person behind all of the threats against Jewish centers across the country in recent months and is considered a “copycat.”
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“Today, we have charged Juan Thompson with allegedly stalking a former romantic interest by, among other things, making bomb threats in her name to Jewish Community Centers and to the Anti-Defamation League,” U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara said. “Threats of violence targeting people and places based on religion or race — whatever the motivation — are unacceptable, un-American, and criminal.”
Thomas made some of the threats in the woman’s name and some in his own name, the complaint alleges.
Thompson allegedly sent faxes to the woman’s employer alleging she had made anti-Semitic statements on social media, according to the complaint.
Additionally, the complaint quotes a Twitter account allegedly belonging to Thompson as saying, “Know any good lawyers? Need to stop this nasty/racist #whitegirl I dated who sent a bomb threat in my name & wants me to be raped in jail.”
That Twitter account was also linked to journalist Juan Thompson, who wrote for online publication The Intercept from late 2014 until early 2016, but was fired after the publication accused him of fabricating quotes and sources.
Law enforcement officials were unable to corroborate whether the suspect is the same person who wrote for The Intercept. But the publication issued a statement following Thompson’s arrest that reads: “We were horrified to learn this morning that Juan Thompson, a former employee of The Intercept, has been arrested in connection with bomb threats against the ADL and multiple Jewish Community Centers in addition to cyberstalking. These actions are heinous and should be fully investigated and prosecuted. We have no information about the charges against Thompson other than what is included in the criminal complaint.”
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The arrest comes after nearly 100 JCCs and schools nationwide received bomb threats this year five separate times, ABC News reports. The most recent was on Feb. 27, when 21 bomb threats were called in to 13 JCCs and eight Jewish schools in 12 states, the JCC Association of North America told ABC News.
No bombs were found at any of the locations, ABC reports.
Thompson is in custody and is expected to be arraigned in federal court in Missouri later Friday, U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesman Jim Margolin tells PEOPLE. He has not yet entered a plea and it was not clear whether he has retained an attorney.