Hacker Suspect In JCC Bomb Threats, Made 2,000 Threat Calls’, Charged With Threatening To Kill Ex-Pentagon Official’s Kids

The Israeli-American Michael Ron David Kadar suspected of making threatening phone calls to Jewish community centers in the United States was charged on Monday in Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court with various crimes, including trying to extort a United States senator.

The indictment against the 18-year-old Michael Ron David Kadar includes allegations that he made threats to 2,000 different institutions around the world, including the Israeli embassy in Washington, the Israeli consulate in Miami, schools, malls, police stations, hospitals and airlines.

The crimes cited in the indictment include extortion, publishing false reports causing public panic, conspiring to commit a crime, hacking computers to commit a crime, and violations of money-laundering laws.

According to the indictment, the suspect tried to extort Ernesto Lopez, a Republican senator of Delaware, for criticizing whoever had made the threatening calls.

The suspect called Lopez and demanded that he retract his comments, saying that if Lopez failed to, he would fine him in Bitcoin every 72 hours and if he didn’t pay, he would incriminate him on the internet.

When the politician did not respond, the suspect ordered drugs online and sent them to his house in order to incriminate him. When the envelopes arrived the suspect threatened to publish pictures attesting to the fact that he had drugs in his house.

The teenager is also charged with calling George E. Little, a former official at the U.S. Department of Defense, and threatening to kidnap and murder his children.

Charges against the suspect were also filed Friday in Florida.

That indictment cites scores of messages graphically describing children’s deaths in calls to Jewish community centers and schools across the United States, using an online calling service to disguise his voice as a woman and hide his identity.

“These threats of violence instilled terror in Jewish and other communities across this country and our investigation into these acts as possible hate crimes continues,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement Friday. The indictment lists 28 crimes, including transferring false information and making threatening calls.

Israel’s State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan is opposed to allowing the extradition to the United States of the suspect, who was arrested at his home in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon a month ago.

A formal extradition request has not been filed, but in informal negotiations Israeli justice officials have said they want to prosecute the suspect in Israel.

Despite the cooperation with the FBI that led to the suspect’s arrest, Nitzan believes the dual citizen should be tried in Israel because of the strong connection between the alleged offenses and the state.

Shira Nir, a lawyer for the suspect , said in a statement on Sunday that the text of the indictment will “clarify once again my client’s medical condition.”

“It seems that every paragraph is additional proof of his inability” to stand trial “as a result of the growth and his emotional state,” Nir said. The suspect’s family has claimed since his arrest was made public that the teen suffers from mental illness and a brain tumor that affects his behavior.

2 replies
  1. Joe Levin
    Joe Levin says:

    JERUSALEM — Israel indicted an 18-year-old American-Israeli Jew on Monday for a wave of bomb threats against Jewish community centers in the United States that stoked fears of a rising wave of anti-Semitism.

    CBS Radio News correspondent Robert Berger says the charge sheet accuses the suspect of extortion and publishing false information that caused panic.

    The teenager was arrested last month in a joint operation of the Israeli police and FBI. His motives still are not clear.

    On Friday, he was charged in federal court in Orlando, Florida, with 28 counts of making threatening calls and conveying false information to police. Separately, he was charged with three more counts of cyberstalking in an indictment filed in federal court in Athens, Georgia.

    Israel has not identified the suspect because he was minor when he committed the alleged offenses in the country. The American indictment, however, identifies him as Michael Ron David Kadar.

    The Israeli indictment says that in addition to the Jewish centers, the accused also targeted airports, malls, police stations and Republican state Senator Ernesto Lopez from Delaware. He also offered his intimidation services over the internet in return for compensation in Bitcoin.

    Kadar was arrested last month after a trans-Atlantic investigation with the FBI and other international law enforcement agencies. U.S. Jewish groups welcomed the breakthrough in the case, which had drawn condemnation from President Donald Trump.

    Since Jan. 9, there have been more than 150 bomb threats against Jewish community centers and day schools in 37 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces, according to the Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish group that battles anti-Semitism.

    The threats led to evacuations, sent a chill through local Jewish communities and raised fears of rising anti-Semitism. Acts of vandalism on Jewish targets, including cemeteries, have added to those concerns. U.S. authorities have also arrested a former journalist from St. Louis, Juan Thompson, for allegedly threatening Jewish organizations and charged him with one count of cyberstalking.

    But Israeli police described their man as the primary suspect in the wave of threats, numbering more than 2,000.

    Police said he used sophisticated “camouflage technologies” to disguise his voice and mask his location. They said a search of his home uncovered antennas and satellite equipment.

    The indictment says his motive was to cause public alarm. Among the charges against him are making a bomb threat against an El-Al flight to Israel that sparked fighter jets to be scrambled, and threatening a Canadian airport, which required passengers to disembark in emergency slides. Six people were injured. He was also accused of threatening a Virgin flight that as a result dumped eight tons of fuel over the ocean before landing, and threatening a plane being used by the NBA’s Boston Celtics.

    In addition to threatening Lopez, he is also charged with harassing former Pentagon official George Little and threatening to kidnap and kill his children.

    Kadar’s lawyer says he has a serious medical condition that might have affected his behavior. She said the condition had prevented him from attending elementary school, high school or enlisting in the army, which is compulsory for most Jewish men.

  2. Joe Levin
    Joe Levin says:

    An Israeli teenager arrested for allegedly making bomb threats against Jewish centres in the US is facing charges relating to an online crime spree including thousands of hoax calls worldwide, according to an indictment filed to a Tel Aviv court.

    The 18-year-old, identified by US prosecutors as Michael Kadar, is facing accusations of making threats for financial gain, money laundering and the attempted blackmail of the US senator Ernesto Lopez.

    Details of the charges being faced by the teenager, a joint US-Israeli citizen who lives in the coastal city of Ashkelon, came as it emerged that Israel would probably oppose his extradition to the US, where many of the crimes were allegedly committed.

    The Israeli indictment includes allegations that he made threats to about 2,000 institutions worldwide using sophisticated technology to mask his voice and IP address.

    Kadar, who has not been named in Israeli proceedings, was arrested last month in Ashkelon, after a joint investigation by Israeli and US authorities, including the FBI.

    The threats against targets including Israeli diplomatic offices, schools, shopping centres, law enforcement agencies, hospitals and airlines contributed to fears of rising antisemitism in the US.

    The indictment said that after Lopez, a Republican senator from Delaware, criticised the wave of threats, Kadar called him to demand payment in bitcoin or face incrimination on the internet. When Lopez did not respond, he ordered drugs online to send to the senator’s house.

    Kadar is separately accused of threatening to kidnap and kill the children of a former CIA and Pentagon official.

    In addition to the bomb threats to Jewish centres, the indictment said Kadar made a bomb threat against an El-Al flight to Israel that sparked fighter jets to be scrambled, and threatened a Canadian airport, which required passengers to disembark in emergency slides and left six people injured.

    He is also accused of threatening a Virgin flight that as a result dumped eight tons of fuel before landing, and of threatening a plane being used by the NBA’s Boston Celtics.

    Reports in the Israeli media have alleged Kadar took payments for some of the bomb threats from students who wanted exams postponed. He reportedly had almost $500,000 in his bitcoin account at the time of his arrest.

    The indictment said he posted set fees for calls to police stations, schools or airports.

    The Israeli indictment comes three days after the US Department of Justice brought 32 charges against Kadar, including conveying false information to police, cyberstalking, and making threatening calls to about 200 institutions.

    An indictment filed in a Florida court on Friday accused the teenager of making threatening calls – with his voice disguised to sound like a woman – describing in graphic detail how children would be killed in US Jewish centres.

    It linked Kadar to at least 245 threatening telephone calls between 4 January and 7 March 2017, many targeting Jewish community centres in the United States.

    The US attorney general, Jeff Sessions, described the calls as responsible for “threats of violence [that] instilled terror in Jewish and other communities across this country”.

    Israeli media have reported that the country’s justice ministry, which has been involved in talks with US justice officials, would probably not agree to his extradition because of the seriousness of the charges he is already facing in Israel.

    His lawyer, Shira Nir, has said she intends to argue that the teenager – who it is claimed has autism and a brain tumour – should not be regarded as legally competent.

    “It is unthinkable that a young man who is right in his mind with these mental skills will consider doing a fraction of what my client is charged with, and if found to be guilty of the allegations against him it is our duty as a society to above all provide him with the treatment he needs.

    “I will ask the court for a sanction in lieu of jail time, as with every day that passes my client’s mental state deteriorates further.”

    Kadar’s American-born mother said in an interview with Israel’s Channel 2 that her son was was unable to function in school due to a brain tumour.

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