Dual US-Israeli Citizen Charged With Threatening Calls to Jewish Community Centers
An 18-year-old dual US-Israeli citizen charged by federal prosecutors on April 21 with making threatening phone calls to Jewish community centers (JCCs) in Florida is likely also responsible for similar threats to Jewish institutions in New Jersey earlier this year. Michael Kadar, who lived in Ashkelon, Israel, at the time of the threats, allegedly made at least 245 threatening calls involving bomb threats and active shooter threats from January 4 until March 7, 2017. A significant portion of these threats targeted JCCs and other Jewish institutions such as Jewish schools and Anti-Defamation League offices. The criminal complaint only describes calls made to locations in the Middle District of Florida, where the criminal complaint was filed, but prosecutors said Kadar placed similar threatening calls to locations throughout the United States and in other countries on at least 15 different dates. The methods used and the timing of the incidents indicate that Kadar likely placed the threatening calls to JCCs in New Jersey during the same time frame. (Photo shows Kadar in court in Israel.)
Kadar “took extraordinary steps to conceal his identity and location” through uses of technology, according to the acting Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. The criminal complaint describes in detail Kadar’s use of the services of a “spoofing company” that allowed him to hide his true caller identification, replace the caller identification information with information of his choosing, disguise his voice, and record his calls. He initiated all of his calls through the spoofing company’s services using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) accounts that allowed him to use the Internet for telephone communications. In addition, Kadar paid for the spoofing company’s services using Bitcoin, a type of semi-anonymous virtual currency.
In the calls, Kadar usually stated either that a bomb was in the building or that someone was coming to conduct a mass shooting. Many of the calls included graphic descriptions of impending violence at the facility, particularly to children who were in the facility. Many of the calls resulted in the temporary closing and evacuation or lockdown of the targeted facility, and required law enforcement and emergency personnel to respond and clear the facility. No actual explosives were found in relation to any of the calls.
Kadar is currently being detained in Israel and faces charges there for the same threats.
Anti-Government Survivalist Convicted of Murder, Terrorism in Ambush of Pennsylvania State Troopers
Anti-government survivalist Eric Frein, age 33 (see photo), was found guilty of first-degree murder and terrorism on April 19 for the ambush shooting of two Pennsylvania State Troopers at the Blooming Grove barracks in northeastern Pennsylvania in September 2014. The attack resulted in the death of Corporal Bryon Dickson and debilitating injuries to Trooper Alex Douglass. The terrorism charges resulted from a Pennsylvania state statute, under which Frein was accused of shooting the State Troopers with the purposes of influencing the policy of government and affecting the conduct of a government. Among other offenses, Frein was also convicted on weapons-of-mass-destruction charges, in connection with two small bombs he left in the woods while evading capture.
Prosecutors said Frein ambushed the troopers in hopes of sparking a revolution. In a letter to his parents, written while he was hiding in an abandoned aircraft hangar, Frein wrote that “only passing through the crucible of another revolution can get us back the liberties we once had.”
This week, Frein’s trial moves to the penalty phase, in which he faces the death penalty.