Israel Hands 10-Year Prison Term to Teen Who Threatened Jewish Centers Around World
An American-Israeli hacker was sentenced on November 22 to 10 years in prison by an Israeli court. He had been convicted of extortion, making threats and false reports, conspiracy to commit a crime, and money laundering in connection with hundreds of bogus bomb threats against Jewish institutions around the globe. Israel did not identify the suspect (pictured) because he was minor at the time of the offenses, but three indictments from US authorities identified him as Michael Ron David Kadar, who is now 19. The wave of bomb threats in early 2017 included several Jewish Community Centers in New Jersey. Some of the threats during that period were linked to a former journalist from St. Louis, Juan Thompson, who pleaded guilty last year and was sentenced to five years in prison. Israeli police said the teen from Ashkelon, however, was the main perpetrator of the threats, which used technology to mask their origin and totaled over 2,000, and included airports, malls, police stations, and hospitals from the United States to Australia. One threat led Switzerland and France to send fighter jets alongside an El Al airliner as it passed through their airspace.
Police Say Possible Mass Shooting Thwarted at Kentucky Factory
Authorities in Kentucky believe they stepped in before a possible mass shooting when they arrested a man outside a factory on November 19. The Springfield Police Department responded to a report of a suspicious person and vehicle outside of a manufacturing company facility, where they encountered Matthew Smith sitting in his pickup truck. Authorities said that when an officer approached the 37-year-old’s vehicle, he made suspicious movements and asked for the officer’s badge number. Smith also refused to leave the vehicle and pointed a handgun at the officer when the driver’s side door was opened. The officer took that gun away and prevented Smith from grabbing another firearm from his waistband before handcuffing him. Officers also located another handgun at his ankle, as well as an AR-15 rifle in the front seat of the truck and another rifle. Police noted the AR-15 had been altered to possibly make it fully automatic. Smith told officers he “brought what he needed to get the job done” and suggested that he had studied the facility, according to authorities. He may have been stalking a female employee. Smith is charged with attempted murder of a police officer, first-degree wanton endangerment of a police officer, resisting arrest, and third-degree criminal trespassing.
Three Men Suspected of Planning ISIS-Inspired Attack Targeting Crowded Area Arrested in Australia
Three men believed to be planning a mass-casualty attack on behalf of ISIS face terrorism charges following a raid of their home in Melbourne, Australia, on November 20. Hanifi Halis, 21; Samed Eriklioglu, 26; and Ertunc Eriklioglu, 30; each face one count of planning a terrorist attack. Prosecutors said the men were investigated since March, during which time 17,000 phone calls, 10,500 text messages, and 7,800 hours of other recordings had been intercepted. Police said the men tried to get .22-caliber semi-automatic rifles. Police were unable to determine where and when the men planned to attack, but Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton noted “there was a view toward a crowded place” to maximize the number of victims. Samed and Ertunc Eriklioglu are brothers, and all three men are Australian citizens of Turkish descent. Their passports had been canceled over the past year on suspicion they intended to fight with extremists overseas.