Teen Sold Jewish Center Bomb Threats on Dark Web, FBI Says
The 19-year-old arrested for the wave of JCC bomb scares was allegedly charging as little as $30 for each threat, racking up nearly $240,000 for his services.
Photo by Nir Keidar/AP
This originally appeared on VICE US.
After Israeli police arrested a 19-year-old in March for allegedly hitting dozens of American schools and Jewish centers with bomb threats, the FBI claims the Israeli American teen carried out the attacks for money, the Daily Beast reports.
According to unsealed court documents, the FBI is accusing Michael Kadar of running a "School Email Bomb Threat Service" on AlphaBay—formerly the world's largest dark web market before the feds shut it down in July. Kadar allegedly charged his clients $30 for each threat he phoned in, adding $15 to the cost if the user wanted someone framed for the message, the Atlantic reports. He even allegedly offered his customers refunds for failed attempts, along with a package deal to target entire school districts.
Beginning in January, Kadar allegedly phoned in at least 245 threats to schools and Jewish community centers (JCCs) across the country, resulting in scores of evacuations, the Los Angeles Times reports. Along with a spate of vandalism at Jewish cemeteries earlier this year, the bomb threats have stoked fears that anti-Semitism in the US is on the rise. Kadar has also been linked to threats against hospitals and airplanes, racking up $240,000 for his services by the time he was arrested, Reuters reports.
A few weeks before Kadar was arrested, administrators at a high school in Rohnert Park, California, received an email warning them that the messenger's "comrades" had "planted a few bombs at school," adding that students and staff would be "massacred mercilessly shortly." Just hours after the school was evacuated for the phony threat, a note appeared on what the FBI claims is Kadar's AlphaBay page, praising his work as "on time and on target," and celebrating the fact that the school day was cut short.
That same day, two nearly identical threats hit the Jewish Community Center of Louisville and the Israeli Embassy in Washington, DC, the Daily Beast reports.
According to the Beast, the Israeli police finally caught on to Kadar's buy-a-threat web scheme after he failed to route his internet connection through a proxy server, giving his IP address away. When they raided his home in Ashkelon, Israel, on March 23, police reportedly uncovered several computers and a hard drive containing receipts of his alleged deals, suggesting that Kadar ran the entire bomb hoax operation from the comfort of his own bedroom.
The teen has been slapped with federal charges in both the US and Israel, and is accused of making as many as 2,000 threats across the globe. According to Reuters, Kadar is not presently facing extradition to the US, but if convicted in Israel, he could face up to ten years in prison.
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