NEW YORK — New York City’s head of police intelligence said Thursday that investigators believe one man using a voice changer and phone spoofing device is behind a large number of the scores of threats made against US Jewish institutions this year.
John Miller appeared on the show “CBS This Morning,” describing the attacks as coordinated. The spoofing device makes it appear the call is not coming from the number the man is using, and makes it appear it’s coming from within the institution, he said.
“We have an offender with some technical prowess here,” Miller said.
The Anti-Defamation League says 148 threats targeting Jewish institutions have been received across the country since January.
On Thursday, a Jewish children’s museum in Brooklyn was evacuated for a few hours after police investigated an emailed bomb threat. Hours later a JCC in Los Gatos, California, near San Jose, was evacuated over a bomb threat.
One arrest has been made in the threats, a St. Louis man accused of making eight of the calls in an effort to harass his ex-girlfriend. Juan Thompson has asked a federal judge in Missouri to release him on bond as he faces the federal charges out of New York. Thompson’s lawyer declined comment.
Miller said the New York Police Department is working with federal officials who are the lead investigators on the case. He said he’s working with institutions in New York to help them manage responses to the threats.
“Most of the time, the person who’s legitimately trying to do harm doesn’t call ahead to diminish the amount of harm he or she is doing,” he said.
Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.