A 20 year-old man was sentenced to 10 years in prison in Israel for threatening various Jewish Community Centers across the United States.
His identity was not officially released at the time of his 2017 arrest, although it was revealed that the individual does have dual U.S.-Israel citizenship.
The individual has since been named in U.S. indictments as Michael Kadar. He was charged with various crimes in Israel, including extortion, money laundering and “disseminating hoaxes in order to spread panic.”
According to court documents, Kadar ran a service on the dark web where customers could pay him to communicate threats to targeted organizations. Particularly, the documents mentioned AlphaBay, a now-defunct darknet market, as the platform used.
The court stated that Kadar had made over 100 calls to airports and airlines around the globe, which led to various emergency landings, as well as fighter planes scrambling to respond to the threats.
Nature of Threats
Kadar’s threats were by no means limited to airplanes or airlines whatsoever.
In fact, he also targeted malls, police stations and hospitals, in countries such as Britain, Denmark, the United States, Australia, Norway, and others. His threats against Jewish Community Centers led the media to label him the “JCC Bomb Hoaxer.”
His threats could turn graphic, and he had no problem incorporating children into the message, as well.
For example, according to court documents, he apparently called a Jewish preschool in Florida and explained in graphic detail how a bomb would wreak havoc on two dozen children as he claimed to be in a car nearby. He, in fact, was not.
Darknet Threat Service
The defendant earned a substantial amount of money through offering his services to make threats.
Specifically, he allegedly earned almost a quarter million dollars worth of Bitcoin by offering these services on the dark web.
Unsealed court documents indicated that Kadar had run the service on AlphaBay, a once-prominent darknet market that was shut down by U.S. authorities last year.
Anti-Semitism on the Rise
Kadar made over 2,000 threats through both phone and email in 2016 and 2017. The threats were made during a period of time where anti-Semitism in America underwent a drastic uptick.
Specifically, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) released a report stating that anti-Semitic incidents experienced a surge of 60 percent in the year 2017 alone.
The Department of Justice has also claimed that Kadar made a threat against the ADL itself, as well.
Psychological State in Question
Although the defendant is now 20, it is important to mention that some of these alleged crimes were committed when said defendant was a minor.
In addition, psychiatrists have classified Kadar as on the autism spectrum and also claimed that he suffers from paranoid delusions, as well.
In addition, his lawyer had informed the Magistrate Court that Kadar had a brain tumor that affected his cognitive functions shortly after he was arrested.
Regardless, the Tel Aviv District Court has stated that he was fit to stand trial after the medical opinions were offered.
Ultimately, Kadar’s sentence was actually three years longer than the seven years that prosecution had requested.
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