SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Multiple news media are reporting today law enforcement officials in Israel have detained a Jewish American teenager in connection with multiple phone threats to Jewish Community Centers across the United States.
According to the New York Times, an Israeli judge has ordered the suspect, who has not been charged, to be held until at least March 30 pending a medical examination. The 18-year-old's attorney says that he has "a brain tumor that can affect his cognitive abilities and lead to “irrational” behavior," according to the report. Authorities have also arrested the boy's father, on suspicion that he might have been aware of the threats or possible had been involved.
It is unclear at this point if the teenager was responsible for the phone call that led to the evacuation of the JCC in Scotch Plains on January 18.
"There is no specific information at this time as to which JCCs this suspect may have threatened and whether our local JCC in Scotch Plains was one of them," said Scotch Plains police chief Ted Conley.
“We are grateful for the collaborative and tireless efforts of local, federal, and international law enforcement who have continued to work on this matter, which has led to this arrest," said Jennifer Mamlet, Executive Director. "Our JCC will remain vigilant as safety and security is always our highest priority."