In an article released by the New York Times on Nov. 22nd 2018, a 19 year-old American-Israeli man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison by the Tel Aviv court on Thursday.
The 19 year old Michael Kadar holds dual citizenship in the US and Israel, but reportedly lived with his parents in Israel on the fifth floor of an apartment building in Ashkelon until his arrest in March of 2017.
Kadar is being tried as an adult for responsibility of over 2,000 bomb threat hoaxes between 2015 and his arrest in 2017. He threatened commercial airlines, airports, police stations, malls, hospitals, schools and Jewish community centers as a business, earning him the nickname “JCC bomb hoaxer” in Israel.
According to prosecutors bomb threats were not the only service Kadar offered. He also offered service on the dark net including drug trading, child pornography and bomb making guides. All payments for his services were demanded to be made in Bitcoin.
Court documents indicate that Kadar charged $40 for a phone threat to a private residence, $80 for a threat to a public institution such as a school, and $500 for a airline threat. Court documents also indicate that Kadar earned nearly 184 Bitcoins for his services during his time of operation.
How was he found?
Kadar fits the perfect description of what you would imagine a bomb hoaxer to be. According to court reports, it was known that Kadar’s behavior was unusual from an early age. He was unable to interact well with others and never adapted to a public learning environment so his family home-schooled him instead.
Kadar’s defense lawyers claimed that his judgement was impaired due to a brain tumor and severe autism making him unfit to stand trial. Medical examiners concluded that Kadar does not have a brain tumor but does have autism. Though his autism is not so severe that he did not know what he was doing. His autism was taken into account during is sentencing and resulted in 7 years reduced off of his sentence.
The investigation into the “JCC Bomb Hoaxer” was conducted by Israeli authorities in cooperation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other international authorities. Though Kadar utilized sophisticated technology to mask his voice and location, his parents upscale apartment was raided in March of 2017.
Kadar put up a fight and apprehended an officers pistol during the arrest and had to be tackled to the ground. A few thousand dollars in cash were found in the apartment but no Bitcoin has been recovered as the teen refuses to give up his security keys for his wallet.
Little is known about Kadars family due to court restrictions. The apartments neighbors reported that Kadar’s father was an Israeli engineer while his mother is an American.
Who did he target?
In US territory his targets include the Israeli Embassy in Washington and a Delaware state senator, Ernesto Lopez. Senator Lopez received a blackmail call warning him that if he did not pay, his daughter would be murdered.
Kadar also reportedly targeted Elementary schools regularly due to the panic it would cause as they always took threats very seriously. Kadar also targeted Jewish institutions and airlines, often causing panic and evacuations.
According to report the United States and Israel were not the only two countries he made threats too. Threats were reported in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Britain, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway and Sweden.
“One can easily imagine the terror, the fear and the horror that gripped the airplane passengers who were forced to make an emergency landing, some of whom were injured while evacuating the plane,” the judge, Zvi Gurfinkel, wrote in his verdict, “and the terrified panic caused when there was a need to evacuate pupils from schools because of fake bomb threats.”
According to the New York Times, “In the family’s apartment, a few blocks from the beach, the defendant had installed a powerful antenna enabling him to connect with distant wireless networks. He then followed the reports in the news media and documented the results of his actions.”
After the sentencing Kadar’s mother stated “This is the most cruel, cruel thing in the world. I’m very sorry, but I am ashamed that the country acts this way.” She added that her son needed treatment and rehabilitation and that “his place is not in prison.”