*The former journalist arrested Friday for allegedly making threats against eight Jewish institutions is alleged to have carried out his activity in an effort to frame his ex-girlfriend.
Juan Thompson, 31, is accused of what federal prosecutors called “a sustained campaign to harass and intimidate” his ex-girlfriend, who lives in New York. He was arrested by the FBI in St. Louis, Missouri, this morning and charged in New York with cyberstalking by communicating threats in the woman’s name.
Of the more than 100 threats made against Jewish institutions this year, Thompson is accused of making eight threats from Jan. 28 to Feb. 22 — against the Anti-Defamation League office in New York, a Jewish history museum in New York, as well as JCCs and Jewish schools in New York, Michigan, Dallas and San Diego.
Law enforcement officials told ABC News that Thompson appeared to take advantage of news coverage of the threats in order to exact revenge on his ex, and that he is not believed to be the main suspect behind the majority of threats to JCCs across the country.
The complaint also states that Thompson made some of those threats in his own name, then, publicly claimed that his ex-girlfriend had made the threats with the intent of framing him. To that end, he recently tweeted: “The @SecretService visited me looked at my tweets, questioned my politics b/c some awful white woman I date reported me. I won’t be silenced.
The @SecretService visited me looked at my tweets, questioned my politics b/c some awful white woman I date reported me. I won’t be silenced
— Juan M. Thompson (@JuanMThompson) February 27, 2017
— Juan M. Thompson (@JuanMThompson) February 24, 2017
Thompson made an initial appearance Friday in St. Louis and did not enter a plea. His next hearing is scheduled for March 8.
Meanwhile, news site The Intercept announced back in February 2016 that it had fired Thompson after discovering he’d fabricated parts of several stories.
Editor-in-chief Betsy Reed released a statement Friday saying the company is “horrified” to learn of Thompson’s arrest and the allegations against him.
“These actions are heinous should be fully investigated and prosecuted,” the statement read. “We have no information about the charges against Thompson other than what is included in the criminal complaint.”