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Wave of bomb threats causes evacuations across the country

21

Jewish centers, schools, businesses, hospitals have been targeted.

A wave of bomb threats were reported against businesses, schools, hospitals and other places across the country on Thursday, authorities said.

By Daniella Silva, NBC News, December 13, 2018:

A wave of bomb threats were reported Thursday against businesses, schools, hospitals and other places across the country — causing panic and evacuations, although all appeared to be hoaxes.

Police in cities nationwide reported threats, some emailed, some phoned in.

The FBI in a statement said they were “aware of the recent bomb threats made in cities around the country, and we remain in touch with our law enforcement partners to provide assistance. As always, we encourage the public to remain vigilant and to promptly report suspicious activities which could represent a threat to public safety.”

Authorities in New York City were monitoring “multiple bomb threats that have been sent electronically to various locations throughout the city,” the New York Police Department’s counterterrorism bureau said on Twitter.

“These threats are also being reported to other locations nationwide & are NOT considered credible at this time,” the NYPD said.

New York police later said on Twitter that there was an “email being circulated containing a bomb threat asking for bitcoin payment” but that no devices had been found.

Police added it appeared the threats were “meant to cause disruption and/or obtain money.”

Students were evacuated from the Bronx High School of Science at 11 a.m. Thursday after it received a bomb threat by phone, according to NBC New York, and the school said students were being “well supervised at neighboring schools.”

A spokesman for the Oklahoma City Police Department said there were 10 to 13 email bomb threats with specific addresses in and around the city. The spokesperson said police were investigating all of the threats but they had not found anything serious so far.

In Massachusetts, state police said on Twitter that it bomb squad unit was responding to “multiple bomb threats emailed to numerous businesses in the state.”

“Similar threats have been received in other states,” the state police said.

The police said in a later tweet that authorities were conducting risk assessments and there were no indications “of any explosives located or detonated to this point.”

Separately, Boston police said in a statement they had confirmed an emailed bomb threat to the Boston Opera House.

In Florida, the Orlando Police Department said in a statement it was aware of emailed threats to local business and across the country. A spokesperson for the Broward County Sheriff’s Office also said it had received threats to several businesses throughout the county.

“We are assisting federal law enforcement in its investigation,” police said.

And employees at a Jewish Community Center and multiple branches of the Fire Credit Union in San Francisco were evacuated after reports of emailed bomb threats, NBC Bay Area reported.

At least two dozen threats were being tracked in Los Angeles, law enforcement sources told NBCLA. Also in Southern California, police received a report of a possible bomb threat that was emailed to a Redondo Beach business in the 3700 block of Redondo Beach Boulevard. The building was evacuated, according to police.

Police in the Chicago area said they were also addressing multiple bomb threats.

The South Elgin, Illinois, Police Department said it received a report of an emailed bomb threat at a business, saying the company was supposed to send “$20,000.00 to a bitcoin account by the end of the business day in order to stop the alleged threat.”

Police said they then became aware of other threats to businesses in the area. The incident is believed to be a phishing scam, they said.

The Rush Copley Medical Center in Aurora, Illinois, tweeted that it had also received an emailed bomb threat that was later deemed not credible by authorities.

The Cincinnati Police Department said in a statement Thursday afternoon that it was monitoring multiple bomb threats sent electronically to various locations throughout the city.

Police in Norfolk, Virginia, and Frederick, Maryland, said they were also investigating multiple reports of bomb threats.

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