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Threat-accused teen charged in Israel

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 24/04/2017 Jeffrey Heller

An Israeli-American teenager has been indicted in Israel on allegations he made thousands of hoax bomb calls, including to a Jewish centre in New Zealand, and earned thousands by offering to phone in threats against schools, hospitals and planes.

An indictment filed in the Tel Aviv District Court on Monday pointed to a threat-for-profit motive by the 18-year-old, who prosecutors said used electronic voice-altering equipment and a long-range WiFi antenna to cover his online tracks.

US federal court documents identified him as Michael Ron Kadar.

The suspect, the Tel Aviv charge sheet alleged, had the equivalent of about $240,000 ($NZ342,000) in his Bitcoin account earned via make-a-threat services he offered on the "Darknet".

No plea has been entered.

The teen's US-born mother and Israeli father say their son, who moved to Israel aged five and lives with them in Ashkelon, is autistic and suffers from a brain tumour that affects his behaviour.

"I appeal to the world on his behalf for forgiveness for he does not know what he has done," his mother told reporters.

Israeli prosecutors say the suspect made bomb and shooting threats against some 2000 schools, shopping malls, police stations, airlines and airports in North America, Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Norway and Denmark.

According to a price list posted by the suspect, customers could order a threat of a "massacre at a private home" for $US40, a call threatening a "school massacre" for $US80 and a bomb threat against an airliner for $US500, the indictment said.

According to the Haaretz website last month, one of the first incidents was a threat made to a Jewish institution in New Zealand last year, but local police were able to track the IP address back to Israel.

If convicted in Israel, the teen faces up to 10 years in jail, prosecutor Jonathan Hadad told Reuters.

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