Crime

Man Arrested For Jewish Threats Reveals Shocking Motive

| by Sean Kelly

Authorities arrested and charged a disgraced former journalist for The Intercept after he reportedly made several anti-semitic bomb threats under his ex-girlfriend's name as a means of revenge.

Police arrested Juan Thompson for calling and emailing several New York Jewish organizations between Jan. 28 and Feb. 22 with violent threats. Thompson targeted the New York offices of the Anti-Defamation League on two occasions, according to the New York Daily News.

Thompson made the threats during a time when anti-semitic threats were on the rise across the nation. Thompson invoked the name of his ex-girlfriend on several occasions, three of which referenced a "Jewish Newtown," referencing the December 2012 mass shooting of 20 children and six staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

"Thompson appears to have made some of the ... threats as part of a sustained campaign to harass and intimidate" his former girlfriend, an FBI complaint read. "Thompson’s harassment appears to have begun shortly after their romantic relationship ended."

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Though many attempted to defend Thompson by referencing the fact that he had no prior run-ins with the law, authorities were unimpressed.

His threats, according to New York FBI head William Sweeney, were "not only involved the defamation of his female victim, but ... intimidated an entire community."

The threats, which allegedly were aimed towards Thompson's ex-girlfriend Francesca Rossi in an attempt to frame her, began shortly after the couple broke up in July 2016. 

In February 2016, The Intercept fired Thompson after an investigation revealed he used fake quotes and created fake email accounts for a source in an article about Charleston shooter Dylann Roof.

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In a statement on Feb. 2, 2016, The Intercept's editor-in-chief Betsy Reed revealed his termination and apologized for its oversight in regard to his conduct:

We have published corrections and editor’s notes to the affected pieces, and we will publish further corrections if we identify additional problems. We are retracting one story in its entirety. We have decided not to remove the posts but have labeled them “Retracted” or “Corrected,” based on our findings.

We have added notes to stories with unconfirmed quotes. We apologize to the subjects of the stories; to the people who were falsely quoted; and to you, our readers. We are contacting news outlets that picked up the corrected stories to alert them to the problems...

...The Intercept deeply regrets this situation. Ultimately, I am accountable for everything we publish. The best way we can see to maintain the trust of readers is to acknowledge and correct these mistakes, and to focus on producing journalism we are proud of.

Sources: New York Daily News, The Intercept / Photo credit: Keith Allison/Flickr

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