The FBI arrested St Louis resident Juan Thompson on Friday morning for allegedly making bomb threats against at least eight Jewish centers worldwide in the name of his former girlfriend.
According to the federal criminal complaint, Mr Thompson made several threats in the name of his ex-girlfriend and has been charged with cyberstalking. Prosecutors believe they were made in an extensive campaign to harass the victim.
The 31-year-old former journalist with The Intercept was fired from the company in February 2016 after fabricating sources in a number of his stories. But Mr Thompson is maintaining his innocence on Twitter and insisting his former girlfriend is attempting to frame him.
After learning of the charges, his former employer issued a statement to The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple.
“We were horrified to learn this morning that Juan Thompson, a former employee of The Intercept, has been arrested in connection with bomb threats against the ADL and multiple Jewish Community Centers in addition to cyberstalking,” the statement reads.
“These actions are heinous and should be fully investigated and prosecuted. We have no information about the charges against Thompson other than what is included in the criminal complaint. Thompson worked for The Intercept from November 2014 to January 2016, when he was fired after we discovered that the had fabricated sources and quotes in his articles.”
Authorities believe the victim dumped Mr Thompson in summer 2016. Over the last six months, the complaint alleges, Mr Thompson sent emails and faxes to the victim’s workplace claiming that she had sexually transmitted diseases, that she had been previously charged with drunk driving, and that she had threatened to kill him.
The arrest comes as hundreds of threats have been made against Jewish centers across the country. Mr Thompson has been charged with one count of cyberstalking, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.