Israeli Court sentences autistic bomb hoaxer who terrorized American Jews to 10 years in prison
A 19-year-old autistic Israeli-American hacker who terrorized US Jews with bomb threats was sentenced on Thursday by a Tel Aviv District Court judge to 10 years in prison.
The hacker was charged with making thousands of bomb threats to airports, schools and Jewish centers in the US in 2016 and early 2017.
In addition to the 10-year prison term, the Tel Aviv court gave the hacker a year’s probation and fined him 60,000 shekels ($16,000).
The Ashkelon teenager was also charged with trying to blackmail senior US public officials, according to the prosecution’s cyber division that filed the indictment.
The hoax threats forced widespread evacuations and stirred fear of a resurgence of anti-Semitism.
The hacker, whose name was withheld from publication, was arrested in March 2017 with the help of the FBI. An Israeli court convicted him in June of all counts committed when he was no longer a minor.
Among other counts, he was convicted of extortion, conspiracy to commit a crime, money laundering and assaulting a police officer. According to the conviction, he made around 2,000 false terrorism threats from 2015 until his arrest in March 2017.
The father of the autistic hacker from Ashkelon penned a message to US President Donald Trump claiming that Israel erred in sentencing his son.
“I have a message to President Donald Trump,” the handwritten note reads. “This was an almost perfect ‘Black Operation’ against you and the Jewish people around the world by your ally.”
The note likely referred to an extradition flip-flop by US authorities, who originally asked for the US-Israeli dual-citizen to be extradited and stand trial in front of a US court, but backed down after the extradition request was rejected by Israel’s Justice Ministry.