The former journalist arrested this morning and charged with making bomb threats to Jewish institutions appears to have submitted one of his threats to the Forward’s tip line.
Juan Thompson, 31, is accused of making threats to at least eight Jewish institutions as part of a campaign of stalking and harassment against a woman who had ended a romantic relationship with him. The Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested him in St. Louis on Friday.
Thompson allegedly made some threats in his own name, with the intention of claiming that his victim was making them in an attempt to smear him. The Forward received one of those threats February 2 through an online contact form.
In the message, the sender appears to claim that Thompson had planted bombs at the Jewish day school at Congregation Rodeph Sholom, a Reform synagogue on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.
The message, received at 2:52 p.m, read: “Juan Thompson birthday March 31 1985 put two bombs in rodeph middle school in NY. He wants to a Jewish new town and to put it on Facebook.”
The mention of “a Jewish new town” appears to be reference to the massacre of 20 students and six teachers at a public high school in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012.
The complaint unsealed in federal court on Friday alleges that a “Jewish school in Manhattan” received two emailed bomb threats February 1 with wording similar, but not identical, to the message received by the Forward.
Upon receiving the message, the Forward alerted the Nee York City Police Department. A Forward employee spoke with an officer at a Manhattan precinct, who said that the threat was being taken seriously.
The sender of the message listed his name on the online form as “narf catalyst2017,” and entered an email address at the encrypted webmail service keemail.me.
Josh Nathan-Kazis is a staff writer for the Forward. He covers charities and politics, and writes investigations and longform.