The Department of Justice today announced the indictment of Michael Ron David Kadar, 19, who holds dual United States and Israeli citizenship, in three jurisdictions for hate crimes and other offenses.
The indictment from Florida charges Kadar with hate crimes as a result of threatening calls he made to Jewish Community Centers in the state. In addition, the indictment from the District of Columbia charges Kadar with threatening the Israeli Embassy and the Anti-Defamation League in Washington, D.C. The third indictment charges Kadar with cyberstalking and conveying false information to police dispatch regarding harm to private residents in Georgia.
An investigation into numerous threats made to individuals and organizations throughout the United States in 2016 and early 2017 led to Kadar being charged initially in criminal complaints on April 21, 2017 in Florida and Georgia following his arrest in Israel. Kadar remains in custody in Israel where he also faces charges.
The indictment from the Middle District of Florida charges that beginning on or about Jan. 4, 2017, and continuing until Feb. 27, 2017, Kadar made multiple threatening calls involving bomb threats and active shooter threats to numerous Jewish Community Centers throughout Florida. Additionally, the indictment charges Kadar with attempting to obstruct the free exercise of religion at the Jewish Community Centers when he made the bomb threats and active shooter threats. Finally, the indictment charges that Kadar made bomb threats to the Orlando International Airport and a middle school in the Middle District of Florida. Although no actual explosives were found, many of the calls resulted in the temporary closure and evacuation or lockdown of the targeted facilities, and required law enforcement and emergency personnel to respond to and clear the area.
The indictment from the District of Columbia charges that on or about March 7, 2017, Kadar made a threatening call to the Anti-Defamation League involving a bomb threat. Additionally, the indictment alleges that on or about March 9, 2017, Kadar sent a threatening email to the Israeli Embassy involving a bomb threat.
The indictment from the Middle District of Georgia charges that on or about Jan. 3, 2017, Kadar made a phone call to a police department conveying false information about an alleged hostage situation in progress at a private residence in Athens, Georgia, which included a threat to kill responding police officers. Police and emergency personnel responded to the scene, only to learn that there was no emergency.
The hate crime charges each carry a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment, the bomb threats charges each carry a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment, and the interstate threats charge, the hoax charge, and the cyberstalking charge each carry a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment. If convicted, Kadar could also be subject to court ordered restitution.
“When individuals target victims of their crimes based on who they are, what they believe, or how they worship, they target the bedrock principles on which our nation was founded,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “These alleged threats of violence instilled fear in the Jewish community and other communities across the country, and it is the Justice Department’s duty to make sure all Americans can live their lives without this type of fear.”
“These alleged threats were very real for those individuals who were evacuated, for the first responders who quickly mobilized to get people out of harm’s way, and for those in Jewish communities across the United States who felt targeted and unsafe,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray. “This indictment demonstrates the FBI’s commitment to working together with our partners to protect the safety and civil rights of all Americans, and shows that we will not stand by as someone threatens our communities based on their religion or their beliefs.”
“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.”
“The indictment returned today in the District of Columbia is part of a broader nationwide fight against hate, terror, and threats in all of their forms,” said U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu for the District of Columbia. “The charges also reflect the tireless dedication of the DOJ, the FBI, and our local and international partners to rooting out and prosecuting those who would terrorize our communities.”
“Hiding behind anonymous phone calls to threaten innocent citizens is cowardly and dangerous,” said U.S. Attorney Charles E. Peeler for the Middle District of Georgia. “The calls that this defendant allegedly made harassed innocent victims, endangered first responders and the victims themselves, and needlessly consumed law enforcement resources vital to protecting our communities.”
This case was investigated by the FBI Tampa Division, FBI Washington Field Office, and FBI Atlanta Division; the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida; the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia; U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Georgia; the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; and the Criminal Section of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. The Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs provided significant assistance in this case. Federal authorities also acknowledge and appreciate the assistance and the investigative efforts of the Israeli National Police.
An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.