An Israeli teenager named Michael Kadar stands accused of sending bomb threats to 245 Jewish Community Centers and schools across the United States. That number — 245 — seems stunningly high, and that might be because he had a list of clients who paid him to make the threats.
What we know from newly unsealed court documents is that Kadar is accused of soliciting his services on AlphaBay, a dark web marketplace where buyers and sellers exchange goods and services that, shall we say, you won’t find on eBay.
The teenager would allegedly email a threat to a school for just 30 bucks, half the price of a newly released video game. He’d add $15 to the tab if his client wanted Kadar to frame someone, though the teenager warned potential clients that his “experience” told him that “putting someones name in the emailed threat will reduce the chance of the threat being successful.”
The documents, publicized by Seamus Hughes, George Washington University’s deputy director for its Program on Extremism, claim Kadar had something like a stock email that he’d send unless the client sent over their own copy. He also allegedly offered refunds if “there is no evidence that the emailed bomb threat was a success.”
The guy charged w/ threatening Jewish organizations throughout US ran an online paid service offering to call in threats. Someone paid him pic.twitter.com/bysptT9c3b
— Seamus Hughes (@SeamusHughes) August 8, 2017
It’s not clear if Kadar made all those 245 threats on behalf of clients, but when Israeli officials arrested him on March 23, he reportedly had $500,000 worth of bitcoin to his name.
That money came from 2,000 threats he’s accused of making across the globe, and not just to schools and Jewish Community Centers. Kadar also allegedly called in threats to police stations, hospitals, airports, and even tried to blackmail a state senator in Delaware after the senator denounced the threats.
It’s not clear how many clients Kadar might have had. What we do know is that someone in California is accused of giving the teenager money in exchange for an unknown number of threats, as California authorities are working in concert with the FBI to go after an alleged buyer.
The documents were unsealed on July 19—the day before U.S. and international officials announced AlphaBay had been shut down.