SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ — Multiple news outlets reported that law enforcement officials in Israel detained an Israeli American teenager Thursday in connection with multiple phone threats to Jewish Community Centers across the United States.
It is unclear at this point if the suspect may have been responsible for the phone call that led to the evacuation of the JCC in Scotch Plains on Jan. 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.
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.
“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 of the JCC of Central NJ in Scotch Plains. "Our JCC will remain vigilant as safety and security is always our highest priority."