Israel-American Bomb Threat Suspect’s Slip-Up Led To His Arrest

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

TEL AVIV – The Israeli-American teenager suspected of making more than 100 bomb threats against Jewish institutions across the U.S. used a variety of technologies to throw investigators off the scent, but was ultimately caught when he started cutting corners.

Nineteen-year-old Michael Kaydar, who lives in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon, used call forwarding service Google Voice and caller ID mask Spoofcard, as well as the digital currency Bitcoin, the Daily Beast reported.

On Thursday, Israeli police arrested him at his home and detained him at Rishon Letzion Magistrate’s Court.

Since Kaydar bought Spoofcard using Bitcoin, which is untraceable, the FBI subpoenaed SpoofCard’s parent company with the hope of obtaining the caller’s real number. The FBI was met with another dead-end since Kaydar had called from a disposable Google Voice number. He had also used voice-changing technology to make him sound like a woman.

According to the report, the suspect used the services by routing his Internet connection through anonymous proxy servers overseas. But Kaydar’s carelessness eventually allowed police to track him down.

The Daily Beast reported:

In his rush to reach as many Jewish institutions as possible, the original bomb hoaxer grew careless. On at least one occasion, he neglected to route his Internet connection through a proxy server, leaving behind a real IP address in the server logs. The address was in Israel, where police traced it to a WiFi access point that Kaydar was allegedly accessing through a giant antenna pointed out a window in his home.

The suspect’s father was also arrested, the Hebrew-language Israel Hayom daily reported. The newspaper added that it is likely Kaydar is guilty of many more cybercrimes – including bomb threats – over the past few years.

Kaydar was reported to have left school in the first grade and was home-schooled thereafter. The IDF refused to draft him because he was deemed “unfit for service.” According to Channel 10 news, the rejection is what prompted Kaydar to issue the bomb threats in the first place.

One neighbor told Israel Hayom that Kaydar was often seen in the same clothes for days on end and would never return her greetings.

“He is definitely not a normal kid,” she said.

The report also said Kaydar had not uttered a word since entering custody.

Attorney Galit Bash, who represents the suspect, said that Kaydar has been suffering from a tumor on his brain since the age of 14 that “affects his cognitive functioning.”

She added: “Therefore, we asked the court to order that the young man be referred for a medical examination. The court accepted our claims and instructed the police to examine the young man’s medical condition.”


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