ST. LOUIS - A man accused of making threats against at least eight Jewish community centers nationwide has been arrested by the FBI in St. Louis.
According to the FBI, 31-year-old Juan Thompson is accused of cyberstalking a former girlfriend and making threats in the victim's name. He allegedly threatened a Jewish museum and a school in New York, as well as a Jewish school in Michigan.
According to a federal complaint, Thompson dated the woman until last summer, when they broke up. The following day, her boss received an email purporting to be from a national news organization saying that she'd been pulled over for drunken driving.
The harassment got worse from there, federal officials said. The Anti-Defamation League received an email on Feb. 21 that said she was behind the bomb threats to JCCs and there'd be more the next day. On Feb. 22, it received a phoned-in bomb threat.
Authorities describe Thompson as a "copy cat," saying it's not believed he's behind he wave of threats against Jewish community centers that began a few months ago.
More than 100 threats have been made against Jewish community centers and Jewish day schools so far this year, including 31 bomb threats made nationwide on Monday. The St. Louis Jewish Community Center was evacuated after a bomb threat on January 18.
"Thompson's alleged pattern of harassment not only involved the defamation of his female victim, but his threats intimidated an entire community," said FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William F. Sweeney Jr. "The FBI and our partners take these crimes seriously. I would also like to thank the NYPD and the New York State Police, who continue to work shoulder to shoulder with us as we investigate and track down every single threat and work together to achieve justice for our communities that have been victimized by these threats."
Thompson is expected to make an initial federal court appearance at 2 p.m. Friday in St. Louis.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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