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The Jewish Community Center is seen in Tarrytown, N.Y., Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017. The latest in a wave of bomb threat hoaxes called into more than 20 Jewish community centers and schools across the country has again put administrators in the position of having to decide whether a threatening message on the other end of a phone line was enough to evacuate. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Officials say man who threatened Jewish centers tried to frame and harass his ex


UPDATE Mar. 4 7:31am | Here's what you missed...

Juan Thompson was arrested in St. Louis and appeared there in federal court Friday on a cyberstalking charge.

According to a complaint, the threats by Thompson were made to harass and frame a former girlfriend. Thompson allegedly used the victim's name while making some of the threats.

UPDATE 12:34pm |  More information about Juan Thompson, the man connected with recent threats to Jewish community centers,  is developing.

According to the Washington Post, Thompson is a former journalist who was fired from the Intercept, an investigative journalism website, for fabricating quotes and misleading colleagues to cover his tracks.

The Intercept released a statement Friday afternoon following news of Thompson's arrest.

Statement from the Intercept:

“We were horrified to learn this morning that Juan Thompson, a former employee of The Intercept, has been arrested in connection with bomb threats against the ADL and multiple Jewish Community Centers in addition to cyberstalking,” Charlotte Greensit, the Intercept’s managing editor, said in a statement Friday.

“These actions are heinous and should be fully investigated and prosecuted.”

 Rough past

In an editor’s note last year, the publication said Thompson had engaged in “a pattern of deception” and wrote that he created fake email accounts to impersonate people.

Greensit said Thompson worked at the Intercept from November 2014 until he was fired in January 2016.

The Intercept released a link to the company's full statement on its Twitter.

Original story

The Federal Bureau of Investigation on Friday arrested a 31-year-old man in St. Louis, Missouri in connection with recent threats to Jewish community centers, Jewish schools, a Jewish museum and the Anti-Defamation League.

Juan Thompson is accused of what federal prosecutors called a "campaign to harass and intimidate."

Officials told ABC News that he's not believed to be the main suspect.

History of threats

He is accused of making threats over the course of Jan. 28 to Feb. 22 against the Anti-Defamation League office in New York, a Jewish history museum in New York, as well as JCCs and Jewish schools in New York, Michigan, Dallas and San Diego. New York City Police Commissioner James O'Neill told ABC News, "The defendant caused havoc, expending hundreds of hours of police and law enforcement resources to respond and investigate these threats. We will continue to pursue those who pedal fear, making false claims about serious crimes."

Here is a statement from the US Attorney's Office on the arrest.

Thompson's arrest comes after nearly 100 JCCs and schools nationwide received bomb threats this year.

The most recent was on Feb. 27 when 21 bomb threats were called in to 13 JCCs and eight Jewish schools in Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Virginia, the JCC Association of North America said. No bombs were found at any of the locations.

--The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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