Arrest made in national threats to Jewish community centers

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LAS VEGAS, NV - FEBRUARY 27: Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department K-9 officers search the Jewish Community Center of Southern Nevada after an employee received a suspicious phone call that led about 10 people to evacuate the building on February 27, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Metro Police spokesman Danny Cordero said the nature of the call led officers to believe there might be a suspicious device inside but none was found. Cordero said police are stepping up patrols around Jewish institutions in Las Vegas following the fifth wave of bomb threats since January against Jewish community centers and schools across the country on Monday and recent vandalism of Jewish cemeteries. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department K-9 officers search the Jewish Community Center of Southern Nevada after an employee received a suspicious phone call that led about 10 people to evacuate the building on February 27, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

NEW YORK — A jilted ex-boyfriend is behind at least eight of the scores of threats made against Jewish Community Centers nationwide, plus a bomb threat to New York’s Anti-Defamation League, in an effort to harass and vilify his former girlfriend, federal officials said Friday.

Juan Thompson was arrested in St. Louis and will appear in federal court in Missouri on Friday afternoon on a charge of cyberstalking, authorities said. There was no information on an attorney who could comment on his behalf.

According to a federal complaint, Thompson dated the woman until last summer, when they broke up. The following day, her boss received an email purporting to be from a national news organization saying that she’d been pulled over for drunken driving.

The harassment got worse from there, federal officials said. The Anti-Defamation League received an email on Feb. 21 that said she was behind the bomb threats to JCCs and there’d be more the next day. On Feb. 22, it received a phoned-in bomb threat.

He also claimed she was responsible for placing a bomb in a Jewish center in Dallas, and he also emailed a JCC in San Diego saying she wanted to “kill as many Jews asap.”

Federal officials have been investigating 122 bomb threats called into nearly 100 JCC schools, child care and other similar facilities in three dozen states.

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Associated Press writer Jim Salter in St. Louis contributed to this report.

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