Israel denies U.S. request to extradite teen arrested for JCC bomb threats

The American-Israeli teenager arrested on suspicion of making over 100 bomb threats to American JCCs leaving court in Rishon Lezion, Israel, March 23, 2017. (Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images)

The American-Israeli teenager arrested on suspicion of making over 100 bomb threats to American JCCs leaving court in Rishon Lezion, Israel, March 23, 2017. (Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images)

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israel’s Justice Ministry reportedly denied a U.S. Justice Department request to extradite the Israeli-American teen charged with making threats against Jewish community centres throughout the United States.

The State Attorney’s Office in Israel told its American counterpart that although the 18-year-old computer hacker has is suspected of committing crimes in 10 countries, he will be tried in Israel, Israel’s Channel 2 first reported Sunday. The report added that the United States has not backed off its request and that Israel’s denial has not caused a rift in the relationship.

The teen from Ashkelon in southern Israel, who was arrested in Israel last month for making over 100 threats against Jewish sites in the United States, has been named in the United States. But he cannot be named in reports originating from Israel.

Israel’s State Prosecutor’s Office is expected to file a serious indictment against the teen on Monday, Channel 2 reported, including charges of extortion with threats, causing panic and money laundering.

Channel 2 News reported Saturday night that the teen said during interrogations in Israel that he had offered his “threat services” for payment.

The U.S. Justice Department said Friday it was charging the teen with 28 counts of making threatening calls to JCCs in Florida, conveying false information to the police and cyberstalking.

“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,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement Friday.

The teen’s parents and attorney have said he has a benign brain tumor that affects his behavior.

Israel has complied with requests to extradite Israelis since the 1990s, given that those sentenced to serve in prison can do so in Israel, according to Haaretz.

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