Former reporter charged with bomb threats
The FBI has arrested a former Chicago radio and online reporter for allegedly making at least eight bomb threats to Jewish schools and community centers, among other locations, ABC News reported on Friday.
Juan Thompson, who worked for Chicago's WBEZ radio station and DNAInfo Chicago, was arrested in St. Louis, where he made an initial appearance on Friday but did not enter a plea.
Thompson is also being charged with one count of cyberstalking a woman in New York, according to the Department of Justice. The criminal complaint charges Thompson with "the intent to kill, injure, harass and intimidate" the woman.
Thompson is accused of threatening attacks against the Anti-Defamation League office in New York; Jewish community centers in Dallas, New York, Michigan and San Diego; and a New York Jewish history museum. The threats took place between Jan. 28 and Feb. 22.
Law enforcement officials told ABC News that Thompson is not believed to be the main suspect in a recent spate of bomb threats, but used some of them as a way to get revenge against the woman, who had ended their relationship.
The DOJ said Thompson emailed the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) with a message that claimed the woman "is behind the bomb threats against jews. She lives in NYC and is making more bomb threats tomorrow.” A phone call the next day warned the ADL that explosive material had been put in its Manhattan office.
The criminal complaint also details Thompson's public social media statements that falsely implicated his victim. The DOJ alleges that on Feb. 24, Thompson's Twitter account posted, "Know any good lawyers? Need to stop this nasty/racist #whitegirl I dated who sent a bomb threat in my name & wants me to be raped in jail."
Thompson allegedly began a campaign of harassment against the victim in July 2016 after the end of a romantic relationship between them. He sent several emails to the victim's employer alleging that she had broken the law and falsely reported that she was in possession of child pornography. When confronted by police in November 2016 about these incidents, Thompson claimed that his email account had been hacked.
In response, the victim obtained an order of protection against Thompson in August 2016.
Thompson also allegedly made threats to Jewish community centers in his own name in an effort to make it look like the victim was framing him, including an email sent to one center on or around Feb. 7 that said, "Juan Thompson put two bombs in the office of the Jewish center today. He wants to create Jewish newtown tomorrow.”
Thompson's actions are part of a large number of threats to Jewish community centers and schools throughout the nation recently, including 31 on Monday alone.
In addition to his work for WBEZ and DNAInfo Chicago, Thompson worked for the online news publication The Intercept, where he was accused of fabricating quotes in several stories he wrote.