I previously wrote about the rash of bomb threats at several Jewish community centers earlier this year. Since that writing there have actually been many more threats to other Jewish centers in the United States and abroad.
News broke yesterday, however, that a 19-year-old man who is a dual citizen of the United States and Israel had been arrested in southern Israel in a joint operation between Israeli authorities and the United States FBI.
The CEO and North American President of the Jewish Community Center Association, Doron Krakow, said that he was gratified by the arrest, but added, “We are troubled to learn that the individual suspected of making these threats against Jewish Community Centers, which play a central role in the Jewish community, as well as serve as inclusive and welcoming places for all, is reportedly Jewish.”
Many details are still being withheld, but what has been revealed is that this has been a months-long investigation, and that the suspect had been using “advanced camouflage technologies” in order to cover his tracks. The suspect’s attorney told CNN that his client has a history of behavioral issues and was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor when he was 14.
There are still questions as to the exact motive of the suspect. Although there had been a previous arrest regarding some of the threatening calls, the previously arrested suspect, Juan Thompson, has only been connected to 8 of the more than 100 bomb threats. And I have yet to see anything regarding additional suspects beyond the teenager they arrested yesterday. So that would mean this one teenager was responsible for making dozens and dozens of bomb threats across the globe, specifically targeting centers of his own faith.
It is possible that his previously documented psychological issues were not treated, or mismanaged, and this is the result. It is unfortunate when we have seen countless instances of violence and tragedy before when real mental health issues go ignored or mismanaged. Modern medicine has given us the tools to help those with serious psychological issues, but, as with those who devoutly pray for divine healing of physical health issues rather than look to medicine, there are many people today who disregard all that modern medicine and science have given us to help with mental health. We still do not know for sure, though, what exactly played into this teenager’s decision to threaten dozens and dozens of centers across the globe, so this is all speculation.
We will all just have to wait and see what is revealed as this story continues.