The FBI on Friday morning arrested a writer for several popular liberal blogs as part of its investigation into the dozens of bomb threats against Jewish community centers nationwide. They say the man made some of the threats in the name of an ex girlfriend as a way to exact revenge on her.
Juan Thompson, 31, of St. Louis, Missouri, has been charged with cyberstalking and making at least eight separate bomb threats against Jewish organizations. Thompson formally worked for Glenn Greenwald’s The Intercept and has written for the popular liberal blogs like Daily Kos.
The FBI’s complaint alleges that the bomb threats were connected with Thompson’s anger over the breakup of a romantic relationship. Shortly after Thompson and his ex-girlfriend split, Thompson embarked on “a sustained campaign to harass and intimidate” the woman, including making bomb threats in her name, the complaint says. According to the FBI, Thompson made four bomb threats in his ex-girlfriend’s name and then four in his own name, with the intention of misleading people into thinking she was orchestrating an attack campaign against him.
The FBI did not find any evidence that Thompson ever intended to follow through with any of his threats.
Thompson’s Twitter has been silent for the last three days, but his last tweets reference a “white nasty woman,” who “filed a false lie” against him. (Thompson is African-American.) His tweets also reference a visit by the Secret Service over some of “his politics” and behavior online.
Thompson was fired from The Intercept for fabricating large portions of a feature about the racist gunman Dylann Roof. In the now-discredited story for The Intercept, Thompson claimed he landed an exclusive interview with the white nationalist’s cousin, Scott Roof, and wrote about how he could could trace the roots of Roof’s extremism. After the story was scrutinized, however, it was revealed that Scott Roof did not exist.
At the time of his arrest, it appears that Thompson was working for the Gateway Housing Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to “providing affordable, safe and secure housing.”
A search through Thompson’s Twitter history reveals pointed criticisms of Israel, in particular the U.S. government’s aid packages to the Jewish state. In the same tweet stream, Thompson talks about how some “believe the U.S.is the world’s top terror sponsor.” A tweet from last November seems to imply that Thompson identified as a Muslim.
Thompson’s arrest comes after President Trump’s controversial comments on the threats against Jewish-Americans. Last week, the president reportedly told BuzzFeed News that he believed some of the threats were made “to make others look bad.”
Law enforcement officials told ABC that there have been almost 100 bombing threats against Jewish community centers this year alone.