A closer look at Juan Thompson, the man behind the Jewish community center bomb threats

A closer look at Juan Thompson, the man behind the Jewish community center bomb threats

As noted in our headlines today, authorities have made an arrest in St. Louis in connection with at least eight of the recent bomb threats made against Jewish community centers around the country. The suspect, 31-year-old Juan Thompson, is scheduled to appear in federal court in Missouri this afternoon on a charge of cyberstalking.

Thompson’s reason for threatening to “kill as many Jews asap”? To even the score with a presumably Jewish ex-girlfriend who dumped him.

So what else do we know about Thompson? Here goes.

He is a former “journalist,” who was fired by The Intercept a year ago for reporting fake news. According to a note to readers by Betsy Reed, the publication’s editor:

The Intercept recently discovered a pattern of deception in the actions of a staff member. The employee, Juan Thompson, was a staff reporter from November 2014 until last month. Thompson fabricated several quotes in his stories and created fake email accounts that he used to impersonate people, one of which was a Gmail account in my name.

An investigation into Thompson’s reporting turned up three instances in which quotes were attributed to people who said they had not been interviewed. In other instances, quotes were attributed to individuals we could not reach, who could not remember speaking with him, or whose identities could not be confirmed. In his reporting Thompson also used quotes that we cannot verify from unnamed people whom he claimed to have encountered at public events. Thompson went to great lengths to deceive his editors, creating an email account to impersonate a source and lying about his reporting methods.

In 2014, while still employed by The Intercept, Thompson penned a piece titled “No Justice, No Respect”: Why The Ferguson Riots Were Justified.”

The following year, he took CNN commentator Erin Burnett to task for suggesting that thugs was an appropriate word to describe those who rioted in Baltimore following the death of Freddie Gray. Some might consider thugs a mild word for people who terrorized a section of the city for three straight days, setting fire to many of the buildings in their own neighborhood.

As for how Thompson came to make threats against Jewish community centers, IBT offers these additional insights:

Thompson began harassing and cyber stalking an unidentified female victim in July 2016 after the victim ended a relationship with Thompson. In August 2016, the victim secured an order of protection against Thompson, who subsequently made anonymous threats against Jewish community centers and then followed up those threats with communications blaming the victim for the threats.

For example, on Feb. 20, the San Diego JCC received an email that named the victim and her birth date and then said she “hates Jewish people [and] is the head of a ring and put a bomb in the center at [the San Diego JCC’s address] to kill as many Jews asap. She is from Nyc and lived in San Diego before Nyc. Tomorrow. Ask her acquaintances she hates jews.” The FBI linked the email to an account used by Thompson.

[…]

In a series of tweets starting on Feb. 24, Thompson blamed the woman for framing him on Twitter.

When he’s not busy posting crazy tweets, he spends his time posting crazier tweets, many distinctly anti-American:

Then there’s this semi-literate thought (“I’m correction”?), which suggests he has self-identified as a Muslim:

And finally:

Federal prosecutors may have a different take on whether he will be stopped.

Ben Bowles

Ben Bowles

Ben Bowles is a freelance writer.


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