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Arrest backs Trump's claim anti-Semitism from left

Juan Thompson

It turns out that the first suspect arrested in the investigation of the recent wave of threats to Jewish Community Centers, schools and cemeteries fits the profile predicted by President Trump, not the one presumed by groups blaming his campaign and presidency for an alleged rise in “hate crimes.”

Authorities believe the man arrested Friday by the FBI in St. Louis, Juan Thompson – a black, anti-Trump, former reporter for left-wing journalist Glenn Greenwald’s publication the Intercept – was responsible for eight of the nearly 100 bomb threats and attacks since Jan. 4.

Groups such at the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Anne Frank Center and the Anti-Defamation League have criticized Trump for not condemning the wave of threats more strongly.

And after Trump condemned the attacks in his address to Congress Tuesday night, SPLC complained that the president’s “generic remarks” were “complicated” by his statement to state attorneys general earlier Tuesday that some of the attacks may not have been motivated by anti-Semitism but by political enemies trying “to make people – or to make others – look bad.”

Trump’s profile, however, better describes Thompson than the left’s caricature of a Trump-inspired, white supremacist, anti-Semite.

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In its complaint, the FBI says Thompson, who attacked Trump via Twitter only days before the arrest Friday, made the threats against the Jewish centers in an attempt to frame an ex-girlfriend. He’s been charged with cyberstalking, which could put him in prison for five years.

Thompson this week actually tweeted his disgust for the Jewish Community Center threats then took aim at Trump.

“[Trump] is not insane. That’s a slur against ppl who actually suffer w/mental health issues. He is simply a racist/sexist/capitalist monster,” Thompson tweeted.

In 2016, Thompson announced he was running for mayor of St. Louis to “fight back against Trumpian fascism.” In tweets, he also called white people “trash” and said they “have no shame.” He described himself as a “socialist” and tweeted “we don’t want America like NY, we want it like Havana.”

He also tweeted that Trump’s recent declaration that “Chicago needs help” to address its murder problem is Trump’s “and the white establishment’s effort to remove black ppl from the southside of Chicago.”

On Tuesday, Trump campaign fundraiser Anthony Scaramucci suggested Democrats were responsible for the threats against the Jewish community.

“It’s not yet clear who the #JCC offenders are. Don’t forget @TheDemocrats effort to incite violence at Trump rallies,” he tweeted.

‘I never encountered right-wing anti-Semitism’

Former Israeli ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren recently said that during his time as ambassador, he never encountered anti-Semitism from the right in America but saw a lot of it from the left.

Michael Oren

“Obviously there is problem with anti-Semitism and we have to take it seriously,” Oren, now a member of the Israeli Knesset, told the Times of Israel. “But there is anti-Semitism on the left, and nobody blamed Obama for that.

“During my time in Washington, I never encountered right-wing anti-Semitism, but I experienced a lot of anti-Semitism, mainly on campuses,” he said.

“Ask Jewish students in America if they fear anti-Semitism. They do – not from the right, but from the left.”

After Trump’s condemnation of the attacks against Jews in his speech Tuesday, the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect still was not satisfied, insisting the president should have proposed a solution.

“After weeks of our organization’s having to plead, cajole and criticize this president to speak out against anti-Semitism, we give him credit for doing the right thing tonight by beginning his speech to address anti-Semitism and other hate. But his suddenly dulcet tones weren’t matched by substantive kindness,” executive director Steven Goldstein said in a statement.

“The president didn’t say exactly what he would do to fight anti-Semitism – how he could have stayed so vague? We’ve endured weeks of anti-Semitic attacks across America and we didn’t hear a single proposal from the president tonight to stop them.”

What do YOU think? Who are the real anti-Semites? Sound off in today’s WND poll.

The Anti-Defamation League also had criticized Trump’s response but showed more appreciation for his remarks in Tuesday’s speech.

“Thanks @POTUS for condemning #hate ag Jews & immigrants. Now let’s fight it. See our plan. Let’s do it together,” tweeted ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt.

The Anne Frank Center and the ADL did not respond to WND’s request for comment on the arrest Friday.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, in a series of tweets Friday, downplayed anti-Semitism as a motive in Thompson’s threats.

“Thompson’s motivation seems to have been to implicate a former girlfriend in the JCC threats, not necessarily anti-Semitism as such,” SPLC said.

The Twitter curation site Twitchy took issue with that conclusion, arguing Thompson could have called a bomb threat into any establishment and blamed his girlfriend, but he chose Jewish Community Centers.

SPLC issued a report in November that compiled 867 alleged incidents of “harassment and intimidation” in the 10 days that followed the election of Trump.

But many turned out to be hoaxes and most of the incidents on SPLC’s list, while deplorable if they actually happened, did not include physical violence, meaning the use of the term “attack” was misleading. Most of the incidents were uncorroborated assertions of verbal threats or racist comments that don’t appear to rise to the level of a crime, including chalking the word “Trump” on a university sidewalk and middle school students chanting “Build the wall!”

Further, SPLC’s definition of “haters” and “extremists” has been at variance with the mainstream. The organization, for example, labeled Carson, now President Trump’s HUD secretary, an “extremist.” After a nationwide backlash last year, the organization apologized and removed the post. But the SPLC website still has a negative “file” on Carson that insists he has said things that “most people would conclude are extreme,” such as his belief that marriage is between a man and a woman.

When SPLC issued a widely cited survey-report charging Trump’s election sparked “hate crimes” in schools against minorities, it censored its finding that at least 2,000 educators nationwide reported racist slurs and other derogatory language against white students.

Fake news reporter

Thompson’s former employer, the Intercept, said its staff was “horrified” to learn of Thompson’s arrest.

Dylann Roof

“These actions are heinous and should be fully investigated and prosecuted. We have no information about the charges against Thompson other than what is included in the criminal complaint.”

Thompson, who worked for the Intercept from November 2014 to January 2016, was fired after staffers discovered he had fabricated sources and quotes in his articles.

Glenn Greenwald is one of three co-founding editors of the Intercept and the author of “No Place to Hide,” about the U.S. surveillance state and his experiences reporting on the classified documents obtained by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

Betsy Reed, the Intercept’s editor-in-chief, wrote in a note to readers in February 2016 that Thompson “fabricated several quotes in his stories and created fake email accounts that he used to impersonate people, one of which was a Gmail account in my name.”

Reed said she and her colleagues found three instances in which Thompson made up quotes and attributed them to people who hadn’t been interviewed.

“Thompson went to great lengths to deceive his editors,” Reed wrote, “creating an email account to impersonate a source and lying about his reporting methods.”

One incident happened in Thompson’s reporting of Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof. Thompson, the Intercept said, claimed he had spoken to a cousin of Roof, named Scott Roof.

Thompson wrote that Scott Roof speculated his cousin may have attacked the black church because he “kind of went over the edge when a girl he liked started dating a black guy two years back.”

Related column

Look who was behind anti-Semitic threats by Joseph Farah

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