Grand Juries Indict Teen on Bomb-Threat Charges

(CN) – An Israeli-American teenager has been indicted on charges that he instilled panic up and down the East Coast by calling in bomb threats to Jewish schools in Florida and falsely reporting there was an explosive in the Israeli embassy in Washington, D.C.

The Justice Department announced Wednesday night that 19-year-old Michael Ron David Kadar has been indicted in Florida, Georgia and D.C. courts on charges of transmitting threats in interstate commerce, perpetuating a hoax and obstruction of free exercise of religion, among other counts.

The Florida indictment cites bomb threats and active shooter threats allegedly called in by Kadar to two Jewish Community Center preschools in Tampa, Orlando’s Glenridge Middle School, the Orlando Airport and other locations from Jan. 4 to Feb. 20, 2017.

In a 2017 Florida charging document, an FBI special agent said that Kadar’s alleged threats included graphic descriptions of violence to children.

“Kadar warned that the shrapnel would blow off the children’s heads, and two dozen children would be slaughtered. Kadar claimed to be in a car by the school with the detonator in hand,” the FBI agent wrote, describing one alleged call to a Tampa Jewish preschool.

Many of the calls prompted evacuations and required law enforcement to respond, the FBI said. No explosives were found in connection with any of the calls, according to the Florida charging document.

In the Washington D.C. and Georgia indictments, Kadar is charged with making a fabricated report of a hostage situation to the University of Georgia Police department, emailing a fake threat of a pipe bomb in the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C., and calling in another bomb threat to a D.C. Anti-Defamation League office, all in early 2017.

The FBI claims Kadar used a complex system to hide his identity. Among other techniques, he used multiple Google Voice accounts and internet-protocol masking, along with a “spoofing” service that hides phone numbers and allows clients to distort their voice. He paid the spoofing company with the cybercurrency Bitcoin, the FBI says.

The Florida charging document says Kadar, a dual U.S.-Israeli citizen, was tracked down by Israeli authorities working in conjunction with the FBI. They zeroed in on an Ashkelon neighborhood in Israel, where they determined that an apartment occupied by Kadar was connected to a large parabolic antenna, which allowed Kadar to connect to distant wireless networks, the FBI says.

The Israeli National Police executed a search warrant in March 2017 and found a USB flash drive in the apartment, with a folder titled “Archive of Targets,” according to the Florida charging document. It contained recordings of the threat calls and information about the targeted institutions, the FBI claims.

Kadar has not yet entered a plea in the three pending criminal cases, court records show.

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