Israel has charged Israeli-American Michael Kadar with making thousands of threatening phone calls to Jewish community centers, schools, airlines, and other Jewish and non-Jewish people and places as part of one-man global wave of terror.
An extensive eight-part indictment, announced Monday, April 24, and reported by The Times of Israel, portrays the 18-year-old Ashkelon resident as far more vicious and far more involved in criminal activity than previously revealed and sheds light on Israel’s resistance to extraditing Kadar to the United States.
Kadar was indicted in Tel Aviv on thousands of counts of extortion, publishing false information to cause a panic, drug dealing, money laundering and possession of child pornography, among many other charges.
The Israeli indictment came three days after 31 criminal counts were filed against Kadar in in Macon and Orlando. The Macon criminal complaint alleges that Kadar targeted schools and a private home in Athens during his phone hoaxes. (See how the Athens connection helped the FBI and others break the case, Page 13.)
The United States has not publicly requested Kadar’s extradition, but Israel’s Channel 2 reported that Israel turned down such a request and wants to keep the case.
When Kadar’s March 23 arrest was announced, it was in connection with U.S. and Israeli investigations into the wave of bomb threats called and emailed to JCCs and other Jewish institutions starting in early January, including two threats to the Marcus JCC and others to at least two Atlanta-area Jewish schools. But authorities have said Kadar kept extensive computer records, including recordings of hoax phone calls, that connected him to wider efforts to cause public panic.
The indictment says Kadar made thousands of threatening calls to Jewish institutions alone in 2017, and he used the same high-tech approaches to mask his identity and his location while calling airlines, airports, secular schools, police and other targets in the United States, Canada, Britain, New Zealand and Australia.
The airline threats did more than cause evacuations. French and Swiss fighter jets scrambled to escort an El Al flight in response to a feared hijacking in July. An emergency evacuation using inflatable slides for an airliner preparing to take off in Canada caused injuries to six people. A Virgin Australia plane dumped 8 tons of jet fuel into the ocean before making an emergency landing in February 2016.
Kadar also is accused of calling police with fake reports of hostage situations and home invasions, a practice known as swatting because of the goal of getting SWAT teams to respond.
The indictment says he tried to market his call-masking services online, extorted a state senator in Delaware, and sought to deal guns and drugs.