The actions of Michael Kaydar, the 19-year-old Israeli-American accused of making over 100 bomb threats in the U.S., are the result of a malignant brain tumor he has had since the age of 14, Kaydar’s lawyer, Shira Nir, argued in court Thursday.
“The tumor is in a place where it’s very dangerous to operate,” Nir claimed, according to Times of Israel. The attorney said post-hearing that her client is “as smart as an adult of 50-plus, with the behavior of a 5-year-old.”
The same claim regarding Kaydar’s brain tumor was made by Galit Besh, also an attorney for Kaydar, shortly after his arrest earlier this month. The teen, who used voice spoofing technology to hide his identity and render himself untraceable for months, was arrested by Israeli police after forgetting to trace his internet connection through a proxy server, in turn allowing police to trace his IP address, which led them to his home in Ashkelon.
Kaydar was ordered Thursday to remain behind bars for an additional week. His father father, initially detained by police due to allegedly enabling his son’s activities, was released Thursday to house arrest by the Rishon Lezion Magistrate’s Court.
In addition to scores of threats targeting JCCs in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, Kaydar is believed to have called in at least two bomb threats to Delta Airlines that resulted in planes being grounded, according to Cleveland Jewish News.
The multiple waves of bomb threats allegedly made by Kaydar resulted in widespread panic and evacuations at JCCs throughout the country, though all of the threats ultimately proved false. Kaydar’s motives in making the calls are not yet known, though the fact that the suspect is himself Jewish only makes the case more bewildering.