The FBI has arrested former Intercept reporter Juan Thompson in connection with bomb threats made to at least eight Jewish community centers, schools, and the Anti-Defamation League’s Manhattan headquarters, authorities said Friday.
Thompson is accused of making some of the threats in the name of an ex-girlfriend as part of a “sustained campaign to harass and intimidate” her, according to a criminal complaint. He has also been charged with one count of cyberstalking.
In the complaint, authorities cited tweets from Thompson that mentioned the ex-girlfriend as well as bomb threats.
“Know any good lawyers? Need to stop this nasty/racist #whitegirl I dated who sent a bomb threat in my name wants me to be raped in jail,” one of the cited tweets said.
The tweet was sent by the Twitter handle @juanmthompson, which is listed on the Intercept’s website as belonging to the reporter who was fired last year after being accused of fabricating quotes and creating fake email accounts to impersonate sources and an editor.
— Juan M. Thompson (@JuanMThompson) February 24, 2017
Authorities have been investigating a slew of threats targeting dozens of Jewish community centers in recent months. Police sources told ABC News and NBC News that they didn’t think Thompson was behind most of these threats.
Thompson is accused of sending defamatory emails and faxes to the victim’s employer, accusing her of making anti-Semitic social-media posts.
The complaint also accused Thompson of emailing a threat last week to the Anti-Defamation League naming the woman and saying she was “behind the bomb threats against the jews.”
Another threat made anonymously to a Jewish community center in Manhattan last month said Thompson “put two bombs in the office of the Jewish center today,” according to the complaint, which said the threat added: “He wants to create Jewish newtown tomorrow.”
“The defendant allegedly caused havoc, expending hundreds of hours of police and law enforcement resources to respond and investigate these threats,” New York Police Department Commissioner James O’Neill told media Friday.
In a statement, The Intercept called the actions described in the complaint “heinous” and said it had no further information about the charges against him.
“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,” the statement read.
Thompson is due to appear in federal court in St. Louis later on Friday.