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2018-03-09 digital edition

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The Jewish Press of Tampa and the Jewish Press of Pinellas County are Independently- owned biweekly Jewish community newspapers published in cooperation with and supported by the Tampa JCC & Federation and the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties, respectively. Copyright © 2009-2018 The Jewish Press Group of Tampa Bay, Inc., All Rights Reserved.


March 9, 2018  RSS feed
World News

Text: T T T

Threat charges against Israeli/American teen raised to hate crimes

A federal grand jury in Orlando has indicted Michael Ron David Kadar, 19, who holds dual United States and Israeli citizenship, with hate crimes as a result of threatening calls he made to Jewish Community Centers in the state including four to the Tampa JCCs and Federation preschools in January and February 2017.

Kadar, who is currently in custody in Israel where he also faces charges, was initially charged in criminal complaints last July. The grand jury’s 32-count indictment on Feb. 28 includes 10 specific charges against Kadar for “obstruction of free exercise of religious beliefs.” Those hate crime charges each carry a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment.

According to the indictment, Kadar is alleged to have made threats to the Tampa JCC Preschool North on Jan. 5, 2017 and to the JCC Preschool South on Jan. 5, Jan. 9 and Feb. 20, 2017. In addition, the threats – mostly claiming there was a bomb in the facility but also making active shooter threats – were against Chabad South Orlando, Jewish Academy and Roth JCC in Orlando and Jewish Community Alliance of Jacksonville.

Besides the new Florida charges, an indictment handed down in the District of Columbia charges Kadar with threatening the Israeli Embassy and the Anti- Defamation League in Washington, D.C.

Although these were only a fraction of the Jewish buildings around the country that were threatened in the wave of hoax calls that Kadar is believed responsible, they are the only ones in which he has been formally charged in the U.S.

“Threats, intimidation, or violence perpetrated against anyone because of their beliefs, their faith, or how they choose to worship is intolerable,” said U.S. Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez for the Middle District of Florida. “Individuals should be free to exercise these rights without fear. We will continue to use our resources to enforce these precious rights for all individuals.”

Investigators for the case included the FBI Tampa Division, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida; and the Justice Department’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section and Civil Rights Division.

Federal authorities also acknowledge the assistance and the investigative efforts of the Israeli National Police.

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