A disgraced journalist was arrested Friday for making bomb threats against Jewish Community Centers across the country. Juan Thompson, a 31-year-old living in St. Louis, has been the first person arrested in the wake of threats and vandalism that Jewish cemeteries and organizations have experienced.
Authorities say the threats were part of a bizarre campaign to harass an ex-girlfriend. Thompson is only believed to be involved in eight of the more than 100 bomb threats that have been made this year. He was arrested close to a Jewish cemetery in suburban Missouri where 150 headstones were recently vandalized, but an FBI spokeswoman told The Washington Post that the bureau does not believe Thompson was involved in those crimes.
Thompson was charged with cyberstalking for allegedly calling in at least eight threats to Jewish Community Centers. According to the complaint, Thompson made some of the threats in his ex-girlfriend's name.
Thompson used to write for The Intercept, an investigative journalism website, before being terminated for fabricating quotes and sources. The Intercept promptly responded to the arrest in a statement posted on its website:
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. Thompson worked for The Intercept from November 2014 to January 2016, when he was fired after we discovered that he had fabricated sources and quotes in his articles.