A central Israel resident in his 20s was detained on suspicion of hacking the computers of US girls and threatening to circulate their intimate photos, unless they perform indecent acts on their webcam.
The story was cleared for publication Thursday.
Almost 100 girls aged 12 to 17 were allegedly victimized by the suspect. He is believed to have hacked their computers, seeking embarrassing photographs and later approaching them on online social networks and threatening them.
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The man allegedly told the girls that should they fail to comply with his requests, he would circulate the photos among their acquaintances and relatives, and at their schools.
The girls, who were alarmed by the threats, complied with the suspect's demands.
US may seek extradition
A complaint about the man's actions was relayed several weeks ago by US authorities to the office of Itzik Shopen, who heads the computer crimes department in the elite Lahav 433 unit of the Israel Police.The Americans had no information about the suspect's identity or the number of victims, but Israeli investigators used the details handed over from the US to launch an investigation and were able to trace the man.
The suspect was arrested at the beginning of the week and his remand was extended until Friday. Israeli officials are now awaiting instructions from the US Administration, which may seek the man's extradition in order to indict him in America. Police officials say that the Americans intend to indict him as though he physically committed the indecent acts, even though there was no physical contact between him and the victims.
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