Israel court convicts teen over multiple bomb threats

The 19-year-old from the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon was also found guilty by the Tel Aviv district youth court of extortion, money laundering, assaulting a police officer, drug trafficking and possessing paedophile pornography.

Israel court convicts teen over multiple bomb threats

World Bulletin / News Desk

An Israeli court on Thursday convicted an Israeli-American teenager of making more than 2,000 threats against Jewish institutions, airlines, police stations and even a professional basketball team's plane, the court said.

Since he was a minor when he committed some of the crimes, he was tried at a youth court and the judge ordered his name be withheld.

The US Justice Department however has named him as Michael Kadar.

Kadar, who is Jewish, was arrested after a wave of bomb threats against Jewish institutions in the United States, which sparked fears of rising anti-Semitism in the country.

He is also suspected of making a hoax bomb call to Delta Airlines in February 2015, forcing an emergency landing, and another against an Israeli El Al flight over Switzerland.

Swiss and French warplanes were scrambled to escort the El Al plane and prepare to shoot it down if it became clear it was going to crash onto a Swiss city.

Kadar was also convicted of making similar threats against flights over New Zealand and Australia.

He made the threats by phone and via written messages, using technology to distort his voice and hide his identity.

His lawyers argued he was not responsible for his actions as he has a brain tumour and suffers from autism.

But Justice Zvi Gurfinkel rejected that claim, based on the testimony of three psychiatrists who said he was criminally accountable for his actions and fit to stand trial.

Since there was no dispute over whether the defendant committed the crimes, Gurfinkel convicted him "of all the crimes attributed to him in the indictment, committed from when he was 18 years old" in August 2016, the ruling read.

As for felonies prior to that date, Gurfinkel said he would request an evaluation prior to the defendant being tried for crimes allegedly committed as a minor.

Kadar was arrested in March 2017 following an investigation involving police forces from several countries.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 28 Haziran 2018, 16:12