JCC Bomb Hoaxer Gets 10 Years in Prison
“The hacker from Ashkelon,” as he’s dubbed in Israel, better known in the states as the boy behind the JCC bomb threats, including one to the JCC in West Bloomfield, received a 10-year sentence from the Tel Aviv District Court last week and was fined 60,000 shekels ($16,000).
The defendant, M., (19) whose name was withheld, was charged with an astonishing slew of crimes for someone who was still a minor when he carried them out, including making thousands of bomb threats, extortion, threatening to kidnap children, and most famously threatening to blow up Jewish Community Centers in the U.S.
The real-world results of his threats, which The Times of Israel sums up nicely “caused fighter jets to scramble, planes to dump fuel and make emergency landings, schools to evacuate and numerous other chaotic consequences.”
Remarkably, M. continued to make bomb threats from prison, leading to the evacuation of two elementary schools in Israel and a hotel in Eilat.
When the judge read the ruling, M’s father cried out, “He’s ill!” referring to the fact that M has been diagnosed with autism and a brain tumor. The judge said, “If not for his situation, I would have handed down a 17 year imprisonment.”
Ynet reported that the attorney for the guilty party, Yoram Sheftel, said, “We intend to appeal the conviction which is unprecedented. As the sages of the Mishna said, to take pity on the cruel in the end one is cruel to the kind. The legal system takes pity on Hezbollah murders, and unsurprisingly is cruel to a someone with autism who suffers 100 percent from a mental disability.”
However, Attorney Yoni Hadad from the state attorney’s cyber division disagreed, saying: “The court handed down 10 years to the accused and convicted him on all counts. He knew the damage he caused to many all over the world. He worked intentionally to instill fear in the public.”