The Israeli police have arrested a young man for making bomb threats to Jews in several continents. The threats had caused a lot of distress among the Jewish community in the US, Australia, and regions in Europe.
The threats have forced the police to increase security measures in most of these countries.
In late February, an employee of the Jewish Community Center based in Nevada received a bomb threat through a phone call. The police were called and forced to evacuate employees from the building. One audio call had a voice threatening to slaughter a great number of Jews. Such has been the state in most Jewish areas for several months. The police traced the calls to have come from the same source.
The suspect continued to make these phone threats over time. However, he made a mistake some months ago that led to his arrest. While making a threat to a center in New Zealand, the suspect did not protect his login on a proxy server. This caused his IP address to be traceable. With such vulnerability, the police tracked his internet access directly to his home.
The young man, whose identity the Police chose to keep private, was caught in Israel. The police identified him to be of both Israeli and American citizenship. They confiscated computers and other such items that the teenager was using for his crimes.
The suspect appeared before the Israeli courts earlier this week. They suspect that he has been trading through the internet on .onion sites that are havens for darknet markets such as Crypto market, making millions. The involvement of darknet in such a crime poses a serious problem for darknet users. It is a further blow to the public opinion surrounding the use of cryptocurrency. Even though there are many people using cryptocurrency for legitimate business, such negative use continues to cast a negative cloud over it.
According to an investigation from the cybercrime police, the young man was in possession of bitcoins worth millions of New Israel Shekels.
The police found how he acquired such wealth. He had a bitcoin account on his home computer. The suspect is alleged to have paid for a Spoofcard using BTC and then used it to make threatening calls to various Jewish groups. The police suspect that a third party must have paid him the large sums of money from Russian Silk Road– a prominent darknet market. This made it more difficult to trace the suspect. They later found out that he sold fake sensitive documents like visas, passports and driving licences on the internet. Upon further investigation, the police also discovered that his involvement in illegal-drug-peddling on the darknet.
The arrest came after the Federal Bureau of Investigation launched an inquiry on internet-related crimes. They carried out this investigation and arrest assisted by other international police agents. This created a huge interest from media all over the world. However, it was not the only reason to make the bomb-threat case a curiosity to many. The story was actually associated with the latest US presidential election. Some sources had forecasted that Donald Trump’s rise to power would increase hate attacks on Jews living in the US.
As one would expect, the scenario in the court room has not been short of controversy. To the boy’s defense, his lawyer told the court that the suspect was not of reasonable mind. She presented to the court that the teenager is sickly, suffering from autism and a brain tumor that makes him act the way he does. “The tumor causes him to behave irrationally,” the lawyer said. She went ahead to cite other facts to prove the point. Most young men serve in the Israeli military at an early age. The suspect was denied entry into the military. She has appealed to this as evidence of the suspect’s ill health.
The Israeli State lawyers now have the task to show that the boy was not insane and that he acted out of knowledge. They are also accusing him of intention to cause damage, extortion, possessing weapons and laundering money. The police maintain that the young man is guilty of the crimes as accused.
He has remained under the charge of the police for the last two weeks. The courts ordered for a medical examination to prove the young man’s health position.
Back in the US, the public has been keen on knowing the fate of the case. Still, the US Justice Department will not issue a statement on whether the Israeli courts will charge the suspect or not. However, the Attorney General made a statement to assure American citizens that such crimes against ethnic minorities will not be tolerated. “We will do all we can to protect Americans’ civil rights. Victimize no one because of their faith,” he said.
This has put the police on high alert. FBI officials met with Israeli security chiefs to discuss issues surrounding the current threats and attacks on the Jewish community. Lastly, police in Israel recently stepped up efforts against offenders who use the internet to carry out crimes. One laudable incidence is that of the pedophile from Tel Aviv arrested for consuming and selling illegal content on the darknet.