Michigan Jewish Leaders Praise FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office for Arrest of St. Louis Man in Threats Against Jewish Institutions

West Bloomfield, MI, March 3, 2017 – The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Detroit Jewish Community Relations Council/AJC and Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit welcomed the arrest of a St. Louis man in connection with bomb threats against at least eight Jewish Institutions across the United States including Hillel Day School in Farmington Hills and ADL headquarters in New York.

According to a complaint unsealed this morning in Manhattan federal court, Juan Thompson, 31, of St. Louis, Missouri, is alleged to have made at least eight of the threats against JCCs and other Jewish institutions in January and February as part of a sustained campaign to harass and intimidate a former girlfriend.  Thompson has been charged with one count of cyberstalking, and other charges may be pending.

“We are relieved and gratified that the FBI has made an arrest in these cases. We are grateful to Detroit area, state of Michigan and federal law enforcement for their continuing effort to resolve this matter” said Heidi Budaj, ADL Michigan Regional Director. “The unwavering support from law enforcement and their diligent efforts to solve the remaining cases bring us hope that there may a quick resolution of the remaining open cases.”

These incidents have caused anxiety and concern in the Jewish community in recent weeks.  “Ensuring the safety and welfare of our Jewish community is central to the mission of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit, and we are thankful for all of the local and national security and law enforcement personnel that remain committed to keeping our schools and campuses safe,” stated Lawrence A. Wolfe, President, Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit.

“We commend law enforcement for this positive development in the pursuit of justice in the wake of these threats,” added Dr. Richard Krugel, President, Jewish Community Relations Council/AJC.  “Our community has deeply appreciated the many calls we have received from community and government leaders, and our interfaith partners, expressing concern and support in recent weeks.”

The arrested individual was on the radar of ADL’s Center on Extremism, which had followed his past activities, including his deceptive and at times false reports for a news website;  more information about his activities may be found at http://bit.ly/2mmZYpd.  ADL will continuously share its information about the alleged perpetrator via its Twitter account, @ADL_National, and will continue to update information on bomb threats targeting Jewish Institutions at http://bit.ly/2mOCMNY