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Ex-journalist pleads guilty in Jewish threats case

Former St. Louis journalist Juan Thompson has pleaded guilty Tuesday to making bomb threats against Jewish Community Centers nationwide

Juan Thompson, fired by The Intercept past year for fabricating stories, confessed in Manhattan court today to making a string of false bomb threats to Jewish organizations as part of a freaky revenge plot against an ex-lover.

Thompson, who has been locked in Brooklyn federal prison since his arrest, pleaded guilty to two counts, including cyberstalking and conveying false information about weapons. In each instance, he would use the name of his ex.

Juan Thompson, 32 years old, made at least 12 fake threats to Jewish organizations and community centers, federal prosecutors in Manhattan said. "Thompson's threats not only inflicted emotional distress on his victim but also harmed Jewish communities around the country".

Thompson was charged in March with making threats to Jewish centers in New York, California, Michigan and Texas that some had depicted as part of a wave of anti-Semitism in the aftermath of the presidential campaign of Donald Trump.

Thompson often made the threats in his ex's name, or in his own name in a freakish attempt to accuse her of being the one seeking to cause trouble for him, prosecutors have said.

For example, officials said in early February a JCC in Manhattan received an email bomb threat that read, "Juan Thompson put two bombs in the office of the Jewish center today".

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The complaint against Thompson said he allegedly started emailing ugly accusations to his ex-girlfriend's employer, a New York City housing and social services agency.

At the time of Thompson's arrest in March, the United States had experienced a string of more than 90 bomb threats and acts of vandalism targeting Jewish cemeteries, community centers and places of worship.

As part of a plea deal, (PDF) the government promised Thompson a sentencing range of 37 to 46 months.

Thompson admitted he made the threats "to disrupt my ex-romantic partner's life" and cause her distress. "For this, I deeply apologize". "He wants to create Jewish newtown tomorrow".

The Intercept fired Thompson a year ago because he "fabricated sources and quotes in his articles".

Thompson, who is scheduled to be sentenced on September 15, faces up to 10 years in federal lockup for the counts.

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