Ex-journalist arrested over US Jewish centre threats

A former journalist has been arrested on suspicion of making threats against Jewish community centres – in a bizarre plot against an ex-girlfriend.

Juan Thompson, 31, “allegedly caused havoc, expending hundreds of hours of police and law enforcement resources”, said NYPD Commissioner James P O’Neill.

New York prosecutors said he was “stalking a former romantic interest”.

The Missouri man was allegedly behind eight of some 100 threats to Jewish Community Centers (JCC) this year.

Mr Thompson was arrested on Friday in St Louis, Missouri, and will be in court later in the day.

As well as the threats against the JCCs in January and February, he is also accused of emailing a threat in his ex-girlfriend’s name to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in New York City.

The next day the offices of the Jewish anti-bigotry group received a phone call claiming that explosive material had been placed inside the building.

“Today, we have charged Juan Thompson with allegedly stalking a former romantic interest by, among other things, making bomb threats in her name to Jewish Community Centers and to the Anti-Defamation League,” New York-based US Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement.

A spokesman for the White House said “it’s still too early for us to say too much about it, but the process worked”.