ADDS ISRAELI POLICE STATEMENT
By Canberk Yuksel
NEW YORK (AA) - An Jewish Israeli teen was arrested Thursday in Israel on charges of making bomb threats to major Jewish centers in North America.
Israeli police described the unidentified 19-year-old male as a hacker who sent anonymous threats via telephone to centers in Canada and the U.S., according to The Associated Press.
The suspect, who has no criminal record, suffers from a brain tumor, his lawyer said, according to a statement from Israel's Public Defense Office.
He was exempted from Israel's compulsory military service for the same reason, according to the lawyer.
A judge ordered his arrest until March 30 and prohibited the release of his identity while urging a medical exam. An investigation is ongoing.
“After an intensive investigation in cooperation with the FBI, including representatives who arrived in Israel, as well as other police organizations from various countries, technology was used to track down the suspect who had made these ongoing threats around the world.” according to a statement by Israeli police.
The threats that became public in the last two months contributed to a perception of rising anti-Semitism in the U.S.
Anti-Semitic acts were nevertheless carried out when hundreds of Jewish headstones were vandalized in several attacks in multiple states.
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions lauded the arrest as a culmination of a "large-scale investigation" between the FBI and Israel's National Police that spanned multiple continents.
“The Department of Justice is committed to protecting the civil rights of all Americans, and we will not tolerate the targeting of any community in this country on the basis of their religious beliefs,” he said.
* Anadolu Agency correspondent Michael Hernandez in Washington contributed to this report with additional reporting from Jerusalem