An 18-year-old with both Israeli and United States citizenships made fake bomb threats to Jewish Community Centers throughout the world. Then, the teenager landed in the FBI investigative scope for a barrage of focused attacks in the United States. He made calls to JCCs in Florida and called in fake emergency information about Georgian residents.
The 18-year-old (he is officially referred to as both an 18-year-old and a 19-year-old) made threatening calls to Jewish Community Centers for months. He called in bomb threats and disrupted day-to-day activities. It started with Jewish Community Centers, a press release read. He called in bomb threats and active shooter situations. Every time police responded, the vicinity needed clearing, people needed evacuation, and full lockdowns often occurred.
He grew more courageous and started branching out. He called schools and other, similar institutions throughout the United States. Criminal complaints in Florida popped up first. Macon, Georgia, was next in line. He called police departments with fictionalized information about numerous individuals in residences in Athens, Georgia. Police responded, prepared for violent situations, but only found that no emergency existed in the first place.
“Today’s charges into these violent threats to Jewish Community Centers and others represent this Department’s commitment to fighting all forms of violent crime,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “These threats of violence instilled terror in Jewish and other communities across this country and our investigation into these acts as possible hate crimes continues.”
Agents jumped through numerous hoops to catch the 18-year-old. He used Spoofcard, a service that allowed him to mask his voice and phone number. After the FBI served Spoofcard with a subpoena, they found that he used a Google Voice number for completion of the Spoofcard sign-up. The FBI requested all relevant information from Google, but only found, once again, that the suspect moved carefully. All calls were placed through proxy servers.
“Kadar allegedly took extraordinary steps to conceal his identity and location through several technological means, including voice alteration, use of proxy IP addresses, virtual currencies and caller ID spoofing,” Acting Assistant Attorney of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division said. “Thanks to the specialized training and expertise of our investigative team, we were successful in identifying, locating and apprehending the person accused of this despicable campaign of threats.”
He paid for everything with Bitcoin. However, he finally made a mistake, the police explained. He called his usual targets but neglected to obfuscate his IP address. The FBI and Israeli National Police found the location of the unmasked IP address. They then found the voice, or in this case, the person behind the threats. His voice, of course, only took the form of someone else’s when on the phone.
Israeli National Police arrested the teenager and eventually discovered that he sold on the darknet. He “used the darknet to sell drugs and forged passports, driver licenses and other identity papers,” officers explained. They said that he also “traded millions of dollars in bitcoin digital currency on the darknet.”
The United States charged the suspect with placing threatening calls to Jewish Community Centers, falsifying information to law enforcement regarding individuals in Georgia, and Cyberstalking.
“People, especially children, deserve to feel safe in their communities,” said U.S. Attorney G. F. Peterman III for the Middle District of Georgia. “The violent threats made against schools, families, and Jewish Community Centers sought to rob our citizens of that right. I’m proud that the Department of Justice and the FBI have fought tirelessly to restore that sense of safety.”
He committed similar crimes in several countries, investigators said. Canada, New Zealand, and Australia ended up on his call list. Knowing how the US hunts down cyber criminals, no matter the physical location, there should not be much speculation as to where he will end up.