There’s been an explosion (pardon the pun) of anti-Jewish hate crimes recently, particularly in the form of bomb threats at a number of Jewish community centers (JCCs).
In all, 48 JCCs in 26 states received nearly 60 bomb threats in January, then on February 20, another wave of bomb threats hit 11 JCCs across the country, bringing the total to 68 incidents targeting 53 JCCs. Now there have been over 100. Donald Trump addressed the shocking rise during his speech to Congress on Tuesday, condemning the threats.
Jews are the most commonly victimized religious demographic targeted for hate crimes, both overall and relative to their small population. There isn’t as much reason to take such claims of threats with a grain of salt like many of the hate crimes alleged to have been committed in Trump’s name following the election (that turned out to be bogus).
However, the majority of the bomb threats in question occurred within a short burst of time (such as January’s, where nearly all were made on three days: January 9th, 18th, and 31st). That would seem to indicate a single person behind the threats, as we’d expect a more even distribution ofwhen threats if there were multiple people behind them.
While Trump did condemn the threats during his speech Tuesday, he also calle in to question who was behind them earlier that day, reportedly suggesting that the threats may have been done to “make others look bad.” Of course, that led to Trump being accused of blaming Jews for the hate crimes of which they’re a victim, which was hardly the point he was making. That’s irrelevant anyway, because he was right.
According to The Hill: Police have arrested a St. Louis man accused of making at least eight threats against Jewish Community Centers (JCCs) and other institutions across the country.
The suspect, Juan Thompson, has been charged by federal authorities for making the threats — some in his name and some in the name of an ex-girlfriend he’s accused of cyberstalking, according to a criminal complaint filed by the U.S. attorney’s office in New York and unsealed Friday.
The editor-in-chief of news outlet The Intercept said she believes the suspect is the same Juan Thompson that worked as a reporter for The Intercept before being fired for fabricating stories.
Authorities do not believe Thompson, 31, is responsible for the entire wave of bomb threats made against JCCs in the U.S. and Canada.
Thompson’s Twitter bio reads “You show me a capitalist, and I’ll show you a bloodsucker,” and, among all the anti-Trump pro-communist tweets, you’ll find the horror Thompson expressed to see Jewish community centers finding themselves the recipients of bomb threats. … that he caused.
Once fired for fabricating stories, he’ll now be headed to jail for it.
[Note: This post was authored by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]