The Latest: Suspect in bomb threats covered his tracks

AP News
|
Posted: Mar 23, 2017 10:43 AM
The Latest: Suspect in bomb threats covered his tracks

JERUSALEM (AP) — The Latest on Israeli police saying they have arrested a Jewish Israeli man who is the prime suspect behind a wave of bomb threats against Jewish community centers and other institutions in the United States (all times local):

4:45 p.m.

An Israeli police official says the suspect in a wave of bomb threats against Jewish targets in the U.S. used sophisticated methods to hide his tracks.

Yaniv Azani, head of technology in the Israeli police's cyber unit, says the suspect used "several different means to camouflage the various layers of communication mechanisms" to carry out the calls.

Nimrod Vax, co-founder of U.S.-Israeli cybersecurity firm BigID, says the phone calls required a certain level of sophistication, but were "not too difficult" for an experienced hacker

He says tracking down the suspect would take significant resources and court orders to obtain and comb through hordes of electronic records.

Israeli police say they have arrested a 19-year-old Israeli Jewish man as the primary suspect behind the threats.

___

4:20 p.m.

The head of a Jewish community center in New Jersey that had been targeted by bomb threats says he's thankful that U.S. and international law enforcement prioritized the investigation and have caught a suspect.

Jordan Shenker, head of the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades in Tenafly, says he is cautiously optimistic that the man arrested in Israel on Thursday acted alone and that the threats will be over.

Shenker says the arrest has led to a feeling of being able to exhale, but that the center has always prioritized security and will continue to do so.

The Anti-Defamation League says there have been more than 150 bomb threats against U.S. Jewish community centers and day schools in the U.S. since Jan. 9, including Tenafly and Cherry Hill.

Israeli police say they have arrested a 19-year-old Israeli Jewish man as the primary suspect in the nationwide threats.

___

4:15 p.m.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions says the arrest of a 19-year-old Israeli Jewish man in a string of bomb threats targeting U.S. Jewish community centers shows the Justice Department will not tolerate religious-oriented attacks.

Sessions said in a statement Thursday that the arrest is the result of a large investigation into hate crimes against the Jewish community. He says the Justice Department "will not tolerate the targeting of any community in the country on the basis of their religious beliefs."

He called work by the FBI and Israeli police "outstanding."

___

2:50 p.m.

Israeli police say they have arrested a 19-year-old Israeli Jewish man as the primary suspect in a string of bomb threats targeting Jewish community centers in the U.S.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said Thursday the suspect's motives are unclear.

Rosenfeld says the suspect is "the guy who was behind the JCC threats," referring to Jewish community centers in the U.S. that have received dozens of anonymous threats in recent weeks.

Rosenfeld says the man, from the south of Israel, used advanced technologies to mask the origin of his calls and communications to synagogues, community buildings and public venues. He says the suspect also made threats in New Zealand and Australia.

He says the investigation was carried out with the help of the FBI and police from other countries.