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York JCC responds to arrest made in Israel in connection with bomb threats

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A Jewish teenager was arrested in connection with a series of bomb threats that have rattled Jewish institutions and community centers across the US and another countries, Israeli police said Thursday.

Israeli police worked with the FBI during the months-long undercover investigation to identify the 19-year-old suspect, who used “advanced camouflage technologies” to cover his tracks, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.

According to the York JCC Interim CEO Matt Scarpato, he said his organization is “gratified by the progress in this investigation, and applaud the commitment and leadership of the FBI and other federal agencies, Israeli law enforcement, and local law enforcement across the United States and Canada.”

“It is troubling to learn that the individual suspected of making these threats against JCCs, which serve as inclusive and welcoming places for all, is reportedly Jewish,” Scarpato said.

The suspect holds dual American-Israeli citizenship, an Israeli security official told CNN.

“Symbolic of the strength of JCCs and the important model they represent for acceptance, inclusion, and appreciation for diversity is the remarkable support we have received from communities and community leaders across the country, including civic, political and faith community leaders,” Scarpato said. “Throughout this period of concern and disruption that we are hopeful has come to an end, we have had the opportunity to review and assess our security protocols and procedures, and we are confident that our JCC is safer today than ever before.”

He continued, “Our JCC staff, members and community participants will continue to take part in the extraordinary programs and initiatives we offer and they will continue to do so with total confidence that the York JCC will remain a vital and exciting engine for building inspired and ever-stronger communities.”

The threats were made against sites in the United States, Australia, and New Zealand. In one case, an airline had to make an emergency landing because of the threats, Rosenfeld said.

Jewish center bomb threats top 100, and kids were pulled from schools. Police are still trying to determine the suspect’s motive.