An Israeli court sentenced M., a 20-year-old man, to ten years in prison for a whole series of bomb threats against airports and Jewish institutions. He must also pay a fine of 60,000 shekels (16,000 US dollars).
Because of the bomb threats from M., who also has American nationality in addition to the Israeli, several buildings had to be evacuated in the US in 2016 and 2017. In this way, he contributed to the accusation that the American president Donald Trump caused a new impetus of anti-Semitism. He also did various bomb threats in Australia and New Zealand. According to the court, M. has been reporting no less than 2,000 threats by telephone and by e-mail since 2015. He used technology to mask his identity. The man was ultimately only found guilty of facts he committed since August 2016 when he turned eighteen.
It is striking that the teenager offered his services at the online store AlphaBay. There he charged 40 dollars to call people at home and threaten them with death. He also asked for money for school threats and bomb alert on aircraft. In total he received bitcoins worth more than 200,000 euros.
The young man admitted that he did about 2,000 bombs at schools, hospitals, airlines and Jewish institutions. He said that in his own words out of boredom. M. has an autistic disorder and a brain tumor. That affects his behavior, his lawyers say.
The judge imposed a higher penalty than the seven years that prosecutors demanded. “Under normal circumstances, if he did not have autism, I would give seventeen years”, said the judge. Who stated that the man did indeed realize that his actions were wrong.
The father of the young man reacted shocked to the verdict. “He has autism. He is sick,” shouted the man, who was immediately expelled from the courtroom. M. can later disappear behind the bars in the US. Justice will also prosecute him there.