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Police Arrest Teen Behind Westchester JCC Bomb Threats

The JCC of Mid-Westchester and JCC on the Hudson in Tarrytown were among the Jewish community centers targeted.
The JCC of Mid-Westchester and JCC on the Hudson in Tarrytown were among the Jewish community centers targeted. Photo Credit: File

A teenager with dual United States-Israeli citizenship living in Israel has been arrested in connection to a nationwide string of bomb threats targeting Jewish community centers, including some in the Hudson Valley.

According to multiple reports, a suspect from the Ashkelon area of southern Israel who holds American citizenship has been brought into custody for making waves of threats against Jewish Community Centers around the United States, Australia and New Zealand.

The identity of the suspect has not immediately been released. Some reports have him listed as 19-years-old, while others claim he is 18. The arrest came following an exhaustive, multi-agency international investigation into the threats, which were made over the phone and digitally. The suspect is expected in court on Thursday afternoon.

The suspect used a device to warp his voice when he called in the threats and used wireless Internet from neighbors, the New York Times reported. The motivation for making the threats remains unclear.

Since the beginning of the year, there have been more than 100 bomb threats made to Jewish community centers across the United States, including locations in Tarrytown and at the JCC of Mid-Westchester on the New Rochelle-Scarsdale town line

In a statement released following the arrest, JCC Association of North America President and CEO Doron Krakow praised the FBI and other law enforcement agencies that helped apprehend the suspect.

“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," he said. "Throughout this long running period of concern and disruption that we are hopeful has come to an end, JCCs have had the opportunity to review and assess our security protocols and procedures, and we are confident that JCCs are safer today than ever before."

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