Arrest Made In National Threats To Jewish Community Centers

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NEW YORK (CBSMiami/AP) — A man is under arrest in connection to threats made at least to eight Jewish Community Centers nationwide. And even though he’s not tied to the threats against JCCs in South Florida, local leaders are encouraged even as they work to end antisemitism.

Juan Thompson was arrested in St. Louis and will appear in federal court in Missouri on Friday afternoon on a charge of cyberstalking, authorities said. There was no information on an attorney who could comment on his behalf.

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.

He also claimed she was responsible for placing a bomb in a Jewish center in Dallas, and he also emailed a JCC in San Diego saying she wanted to “kill as many Jews asap.”

Federal officials have been investigating 122 bomb threats called into nearly 100 JCC schools, child care and other similar facilities in three dozen states including Florida.

Holocaust survivor Julius Eisenstein is troubled by the wave of antisemitism he sees in South Florida.

From swastikas scratched in cars on Miami Beach to a car vandalized in Boca Raton and bomb threats at Jewish Community Centers.

There was even a threat this week at the very Davie JCC campus where Eisenstein and other Holocaust survivors were honored Friday.

“It is unbelievable to comprehend… to kill people for no reason,” he said. “My sister was 12 years old.”

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz is glad authorities have finally put someone behind bars.

“It certainly is gratifying an arrest has been made,” she said. “Although, the other perpetrators are still at large.”

Thompson’s arrest coincides with a meeting held Friday at Broward Community College on combatting antisemitism.

Wasserman Schultz hosted a roundtable with local law enforcement, the FBI and local Jewish leaders on promoting tolerance.

“The more we can shed a spotlight, the more you can snuff it out,” she said.

But Eisenstein forever bears the mark of intolerance – his concentration camp number etched in his skin. He fears history will repeat itself

“I’m sorry to say the world has not learned anything,” he said. “And if they say it can’t happen again, don’t believe it.”

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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