Michael Kadar, an American-Israeli teenager coined the “JCC hoax bomber,” was found guilty Thursday in connection with making thousands of threats against targets including Jewish community centers throughout the U.S. and the Israel Embassy in Washington, D.C.
A district court in Tel Aviv convicted the 19-year-old dual citizen on hundreds of counts including extortion by threat, sending fraudulent messages, conspiring to commit crimes, penetration of computer material and money laundering related to a slew of bogus bomb threats made against institutions in the U.S. and abroad, Israeli media reported.
Israeli news report did not disclose the teen’s name because he was a minor when the crime spree started, but previous reporting identified him as Kadar, the defendant in related indictments filed in February by U.S. prosecutors in Florida, D.C. and Georgia.
Kadar was arrested in Israel last year and subsequently indicted by U.S. prosecutors on dozens of criminal counts, including 10 federal hate crime charges, related to a slew of threatening phone calls received by Jewish institutions in early 2017. He was also charged last April by the Israeli State Prosecutor’s office, however, and he ultimately avoided being extradited to the U.S. by standing trial in Tel Aviv instead on charges related to threatening and intimidating more than 2,000 victims in the U.S. and abroad.
Prosecutors said Kadar made bomb threats against victims including Jewish community centers, the Israeli Embassy, the Anti-Defamation League’s D.C. office and the Orlando International Airport, among others. He also sold his services online, according to prosecutors, and charged as little as $30 to make bomb threats on customers’ behalf.
“The defendant sowed terror and panic in a systematic and sophisticated way, all while concealing his identity, and disrupted the lives of many people whom he has threatened,” Judge Zvi Gurfinkel said Thursday, The Times of Israel reported.
“I did it out of boredom; it was like a game. I understand that it is forbidden. I am sorry, I won’t do it again,” Kadar confessed, according to court documents reported by The Jerusalem Post. “I like to see people running around in panic.”
The Department of Justice did not immediately return an email seeking comment on the case. Israeli media previously reported that the DOJ had decided against seeking Kadar’s extradition in lieu of him facing charges in Tel Aviv.
“We can’t ignore the fact that this whole trial is affected by the American pressure,” said defense attorney Meir Ziv, Israel’s Yvet News reported. “They are expecting a conviction and the maximum sentence or an extradition to the U.S. The fact that he was tried in Israel prevented the extradition to the U.S.”
Kadar faces up to 10 years in prison, Israeli prosecutor Jonathan Hadad previously told Reuters.