(JTA) – A 20-year-old American-Israeli man convicted of making hundreds of bomb threats to Jewish community centres and Jewish schools in the United States, Canada and four other countries, as well as to airlines, was sentenced to ten years in prison in Israel.
The sentence for Michael Kadar, who holds dual U.S.-Israeli citizenship and whose name is barred from publication in Israel, was delivered on Thursday in Tel Aviv District Court. Kadar was convicted on several counts including extortion, conspiracy to commit a crime, money laundering and assaulting a police officer.
The sentence was delivered despite testimony by defence psychologists that he is autistic and incompetent.
Judge Tzvi Gurfinkel said that despite his medical conditions, Kadar was responsible for his actions and understood the difference between right and wrong. The judge noted that had Kadar not been autistic he would have sentenced him to 17 years.
Kadar has admitted to making some 2,000 fake bomb threat calls to hospitals, airlines, schools and various Jewish institutions in the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Britain.
The hoax threats to the JCCs and other Jewish institutions in the first three months of 2017 forced widespread evacuations and raised fears of a resurgence in anti-Semitism. Kadar’s parents and lawyer have not disputed his involvement in the bomb threats but asserted in his defence that he has a brain tumor and a low IQ.
Earlier this year it was revealed that Kadar managed to make another 100 hoax bomb threats to schools in Israel from prison.
Kadar was charged in Israel in April 2017 with thousands of counts on offenses that include publishing false information, causing panic, computer hacking and money laundering. He had been arrested in Israel the previous month in a joint operation with the FBI.
In March, the U.S. Justice Department indicted Kadar on federal hate crimes charges.