Man charged with threats to US Jewish groups pleads guilty

Posted June 27, 2017

Juan Thompson, fired by The Intercept a year ago for fabricating stories, confessed in Manhattan court today to making a string of false bomb threats to Jewish organizations as part of a weird revenge plot against an ex-lover.

Juan Thompson, 31, was suspected in at least eight bomb threats against community centers in Michigan, Texas, California and NY. Thompson, accused of threatening Jewish organizations as a way to harass his ex-girlfriend pleaded guilty Tuesday, June 13, 2017, in NY to cyberstalking.

"I committed all of these acts with the intent to disrupt my ex-romantic partner's life and cause her great distress", he said.

"Fueling fear and distress, Juan Thompson made fake bomb threats to over a dozen Jewish Community Centers and organizations around the country", Joon H. Kim, the Acting U.S Attorney for the Southern District of NY, said in a statement.

Juan Thompson, 32, also pleaded guilty on Tuesday in a U.S. District Court in Manhattan to a charge of conveying false information and hoaxes, The Associated Press reported. While the defense is pushing for up to three years, prosecutors calculated his sentencing guideline as between 37 and 46 months. "Thompson's threats not only inflicted emotional distress on his victim, but also harmed Jewish communities around the country", he added.

The ex-journalist had pleaded not guilty during an April 10 court appearance in New York City. Her boss got a note saying she had a sexually transmitted disease. Thompson made the threats to disparage his ex-girlfriend, federal officials said.

A few days later, he emailed a bomb threat from an anonymous account to a Manhattan JCC that said, "Juan Thompson (THOMPSON'S BIRTHDAY) put two bombs in the office of the Jewish center today. He wants to create Jewish newtown tomorrow".

The government collected evidence from about two dozen laptops, tablets and cellphones seized from his home.

Thompson will go before a judge for sentencing later this year.

In a statement after the plea, the Anti-Defamation League said his conduct "was inexcusable and stoked fears of anti-Semitism at a time when such incidents were on the rise".