The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Detroit JCRC/AJC and Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit welcomed the arrest last week 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.
Juan Thompson, 31, of St. Louis, Mo., 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 law enforcement for their continuing effort to resolve this matter,” said Heidi Budaj, ADL Michigan Regional Director. “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.
“We commend law enforcement for this positive development in the pursuit of justice in the wake of these threats,” said Dr. Richard Krugel, president of the Jewish Community Relations Council/AJC. “Our community has appreciated the many calls we have received from community and government leaders, and our interfaith partners, expressing concern and support.”
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 about Dylann Roof, the perpetrator of the church shooting in Charleston, S.C.
Most recently, Thompson allegedly announced in November 2016 that he was running for mayor of St. Louis to “fight back against Trumpian fascism and socio-economic terrorism.” According to ADL research, Thompson also claimed that he wanted to dismantle the system of “racial supremacy and greedy capitalism that is stacked against us.” He created a Gofundme page to raise $5,000 for his ostensible election bid. He got $25. He has tweeted various rants against white people, calling them “trash” and saying they “have no shame.”