Knoxville businesses part of nationwide bomb threat scare

Saul Bowman
December 15, 2018

Police across Canada and the U.S. are investigating a series of bomb threats reported on Thursday.

USA police have confirmed the threats are hoaxes, with no bombs found.

Some of the emails in Montreal and other cities demanded $20,000 payment in Bitcoin.

Police in Toronto said multiple threats were being investigated across the city Thursday afternoon, including one involving the busy downtown King subway station, which was evacuated.

Calgary police have determined the multiple bomb threats sent out are a hoax and believe there is no threat to public safety.

The Thurston County Courthouse in Olympia, Washington and the Park Record newspaper in Park City, Utah also received similarly threatening emails.

Ottawa police say they responded to more than 10 bomb threats sent to local businesses and individuals in the Ottawa area where the sender also demanded a bitcoin payment.

Earlier on Thursday, more than two dozen schools were placed on lockout in Colorado, following false threats about explosive devices planted at Columbine High, the high school where the infamous 1999 school shooting took place.

A wave of bomb threats has hit hundreds of locations across the United States and Canada, causing evacuations at many places, officials and witnesses say.

Additional threats were reported in New York City.

Some 500 people were safely evacuated from the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco after a nearby bank was targeted in the hoax.

Penn State issued an alert for the University Park campus at 2:14 p.m. stating that University Police and the FBI were investigating threats to campus buildings. It appears the threats are being sent by email. These threats are also being reported to other locations nationwide and are not considered credible at this time.

According to reports, an email has been sent to several institutions, including hospitals, by the perpetrators claiming that a bomb has been carried onto their business premises, adding that it could not damage the supporting building.

There have been several media reports stating that scammers are demanding hefty bitcoin ransom with the subject line, "I advise you not to call the police".

South of the border, the FBI was investigating the wave of threats and said it was unclear whether the threats are connected.

There have been no detonations, and authorities have said the threats do not appear to be credible.

Police in Florida and Idaho echoed that sentiment, although the Federal Bureau of Investigation urged people to "remain vigilant" while forces across the country investigated where the emails may have come from.

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