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Friday, April 21, 2017

U.S./Israeli Man Charged in Connection with Threats to Jewish Community Centers, Conveying False Information, and Cyberstalking



Michael Ron David Kadar, 18, who holds dual United States and Israeli citizenship and who was recently arrested in Israel, was charged today with making threatening calls to Jewish Community Centers in Florida, conveying false information to police dispatch regarding harm to private residents in Georgia, and cyberstalking the Justice Department announced today.  The investigation into violent threats to Jewish Community Centers, schools and other institutions across this nation continues, including an ongoing investigation into potential hate crime charges.

According to a federal criminal complaint filed in Orlando, Florida, it is alleged that beginning on or about Jan. 4, 2017, and continuing until March 7, 2017, Kadar made multiple threatening calls involving bomb threats and active shooter threats to numerous Jewish Community Centers throughout Florida.   Although no actual explosives were found, many of the calls resulted in the temporary closure and evacuation or lockdown of the targeted facilities, and required law enforcement and emergency personnel to respond and clear the area.

Further, according to a federal criminal complaint filed in Macon, Georgia, it is alleged that on or about Jan. 3, 2017, Kadar made a phone call to a police department conveying false information about an alleged violent emergency situation concerning multiple individuals at a private residence in Athens, Georgia.  Police and emergency personnel responded to the scene, only to learn that there was no emergency.

“Today’s charges into these violent threats to Jewish Community Centers and others represent this Department’s commitment to fighting all forms of violent crime,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions.  “These threats of violence instilled terror in Jewish and other communities across this country and our investigation into these acts as possible hate crimes continues.”

“This kind of behavior is not a prank, and it isn't harmless.  It’s a federal crime,” said Director James Comey of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  “It scares innocent people, disrupts entire communities, and expends limited law enforcement resources.  The FBI thanks our partners for working with us here at home and around the world.”

“This Department will lend its full support to law enforcement officers and communities so we can fight violent crime, including threats like these,” said Acting Associate Attorney General Jesse Panuccio. “These threats terrorized our communities, and we will continue to enforce this nation’s laws.”

“Violent threats intended to instill fear in our religious communities, schools, and homes are an attack on the very fabric of our society and will not be tolerated,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Tom Wheeler of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.  “The department will continue to vigorously investigate and prosecute those who engage in such violent acts.”

“Kadar allegedly took extraordinary steps to conceal his identity and location through several technological means, including voice alteration, use of proxy IP addresses, virtual currencies and caller ID spoofing,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth E. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “Thanks to the specialized training and expertise of our investigative team, we were successful in identifying, locating and apprehending the person accused of this despicable campaign of threats.”

“The charges brought today demonstrate our resolve to pursue and prosecute those who seek to sow terror and fear in our community, wherever they may hide,” said Acting U.S. Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow for the Middle District of Florida. “They also reflect the tireless efforts, dedication and cooperation of agents, analysts and prosecutors within the Justice Department, as well as our state, local and international law enforcement partners.”

“People, especially children, deserve to feel safe in their communities,” said U.S. Attorney G. F. Peterman III for the Middle District of Georgia. “The violent threats made against schools, families, and Jewish Community Centers sought to rob our citizens of that right. I'm proud that the Department of Justice and the FBI have fought tirelessly to restore that sense of safety.”

This matter is being investigated by the FBI, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Georgia, the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section of the Department of Justice, and the Civil Rights Division’s Criminal Section.  Federal authorities also acknowledge and appreciate the assistance and the investigative efforts of the Israeli National Police.  The Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs is providing assistance with this case.

A complaint is merely an allegation and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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