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Former Intercept writer arrested for alleged bomb threats against Jewish community centers

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Brooklyn Independent Media

Today in St. Louis, police arrested former Intercept writer Juan Thompson in connection with a string of bomb threats made against Jewish centers in recent weeks. He has been indicted on a federal cyberstalking charge, which carries up to five years in prison, although subsequent charges are expected to follow.

Police do not believe Thompson was the main force behind the recent threats, which have targeted as many as 100 Jewish centers in recent weeks. Prosecutors believe Thompson made only eight of the threats, including one call to the national Anti-Defamation League headquarters in New York, as part of a larger harassment campaign against an ex-girlfriend. Police have been unable to trace the sources of the other calls, due to spoofing measures taken by the callers.

In a series of recent tweets, Thompson suggested he was being framed for the bomb threats by a vindictive ex.

Thompson was fired from The Intercept last year after evidence emerged that he had fabricated quotations and impersonated people through fake email accounts. The news outlet corrected four stories from Thompson and retracted one in its entirety. "We apologize to the subjects of the stories; to the people who were falsely quoted; and to you, our readers," editor-in-chief Betsy Reed said in a statement at the time.

Thompson’s best-known story claimed that Charleston murderer Dylann Roof was driven to racism by an ex-girlfriend, who started dating a black man after their relationship ended. The story was retracted after Thompson’s firing, and is believed to have been a fabrication.

“These actions are heinous and should be fully investigated and prosecuted,” The Intercept said in a statement on Thompson’s arrest. “We have no information about the charges against Thompson other than what is included in the criminal complaint.”