‘JCC hoax bomber’ Convicted in Serial Bomb Threat Case

At the Tel Aviv District Court, the 19-year-old responsible for sending more than 2,000 bomb threats to public buildings and institutions was convicted so far only for his numerous crimes committed as an adult. As the Jerusalem Post reported, the courts have not yet taken any action concerning the crimes committed as a minor. According to documents from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, the 19-year-old has been making similar calls since the year 2014 when he was a minor.

Michael Kaydar, aka the “JCC hoax bomber,” called in thousands of bomb threats that sent police to Jewish Community Centers, airports, shopping malls, and police stations across the globe. He also targeted an Israel Embassy in the United States, public schools, and a United States senator’s office. In court, Kaydar said, “I did it out of boredom; it was like a game.” However, as investigators later determined, Kaydar had financial motivation for some of his bomb threats.

An Alphabay vendor using the pseudonym “Darknet Legend” caught the attention of federal authorities after they spotted a connection between the services he offered, the reviews of his services, and the timing in relation to real world attacks at public facilities. As far as this author knows, at this point, the focus on Jewish Community Centers was Kaydar’s own twisted form of attacks against Jewish people. His listings on Alphabay catered primarily to the same crowd that pay an internet user to “swat” someone else.

However, in the same folder on his computer that contained lists of targets from his Alphabay customers, investigators located lists of many of the Jewish Community Center threats and bomb hoaxes. He stored copies of the emails he had used to threaten schools. According to his Alphabay profile, he stored the emails so that if he could prove that he had sent a threatening email to a school. Normally, though, as reflected by the comments, his threats needed no additional proof as the bomb threats often made the news.

At the Tel Aviv District Court, Kaydar was convicted of money laundering, extortion by threat, attacking a police officer, conspiracy to commit crimes, sending fraudulent messages, hacking, and unlawfully carrying a weapon. His alleged marijuana distribution on Alphabay may have taken place when Kaydar was a minor.

He still faces charges for the crimes committed as a minor and the hoax calls he made from jail. The United States also charged Kaydar with similar crimes and wants extradition. The Israeli Justice Ministry declined a 2017 extradition request from the United States. The U.S. backed off while Kaydar waited for his first trial. Their next move is unknown.