A black former journalist charged with making a wave of bomb threats to Jewish organizations says he was framed by racist authorities.
“Make no mistake: this is a modern-day lynching,” Juan Thompson, 31, said in a telephone interview from the Warren County jail in Missouri. “The allegations are false.”
Thompson, who said he holds no anti-Semitic beliefs, is scheduled to appear in Manhattan federal court on Wednesday.
Prosecutors say Thompson used fake email accounts to impersonate his ex-girlfriend when he sent the bomb threats.
Thompson was a reporter for the Intercept news website until he was fired last year for allegedly inventing sources and quotes.
U.S. authorities have been investigating a surge of threats against Jewish organizations, including more than 100 bomb threats against community centers in dozens of states in separate waves since January.
The organizations Thompson threatened include a Jewish museum in New York and the Anti-Defamation League, according to a criminal complaint in Manhattan federal court. All occurred after the first flood of phone threats in early January.
Last week, an 18-year-old dual Israeli and U.S. citizen was arrested in Israel on suspicion of making dozens of other hoax bomb threats to Jewish centers.