MOSCOW MILLS, Mo. — A series of bomb threats were sent to schools, businesses, and government institutions across the United States. The threats originated from a foreign country with the sender demanding money.
Police departments across the country said they were investigating the threats but did not believe them to be credible. The source of the threats is not yet known.
The FBI said it was aware of the bomb threats received locally and in cities around the country. They encouraged the public to remain vigilant and to promptly report suspicious activity. FBI spokeswoman Rebecca Wu sent out the following statement:
"The FBI is aware of the bomb threats received locally and in cities around the country. We remain in touch with our law enforcement partners to provide assistance. As always, the FBI encourages the public to remain vigilant and to promptly report suspicious activities which could represent a threat to public safety."
St. Louis County police said they received several requests from businesses to check their premises. The threats appeared to be related to Bitcoin. St. Louis County police did not think the threats were credible.
All told, two threats were investigated in St. Louis County, as well as single threats in Jefferson, Lincoln, and St. Charles counties. There were no threats reported in St. Clair or Madison counties in Illinois.
This is a portion of the message being sent:
"Hello, There is an explosive device (Tetryl) in the building where your company is conducted. My recruited person constructed the bomb according to my guide. It is small and it is hidden very carefully, it is not able to destroy the structure of the building, but if it detonates there will be many wounded people. My recruited person is watching the situation around the building. If any unusual behavior, panic or policeman is noticed he will power the device. I want to propose you a bargain. You pay me $20'000 in Bitcoin and explosive will not detonate, but don't try to fool me - I guarantee you that I have to withdraw my man after 3 confirmations in blockchain."
"Bomb threats made by email in the St. Louis County area follow a similar pattern of those being made across the nation today. We are looking into each threat thoroughly and individually; however, we do not believe any are credible at this time," tweet St. Louis County Police.
A Lincoln County school was evacuated after receiving a threatening email from a foreign country. Lt. Andy Binder with the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office said that Troy South Middle School was sent a message about a bomb scare. They believe it is some kind of scam.
The school was evacuated and dogs were sent to the school to investigate. They did not think the threat was credible and administrators were cooperating with law enforcement to check it out. Lincoln County R-III School District tweeted, "All buildings are currently on security alert due to a bomb threat at Troy South."
Binder said these letters were appearing at schools across the Midwest. A report from WHO-TV in Des Moines, Iowa from Thursday said several bomb threats were being investigated. Police believe those were also hoaxes.
Sgt. Paul Parizek with the Des Moines Police Department said they've received reports that threats were e-mailed Thursday to the Science Center of Iowa, Eyerly Ball, Joseph’s Jewelers, and the Blank Park Zoo. The e-mails demanded money. Parizek said the e-mail appeared to be a hoax.
Authorities were investigating at least eight bomb threats which were made throughout Lancaster County, Michigan Thursday afternoon.
Several police departments across the United States said many are hoaxes but are being taken seriously as precautions.
This is an example of the threat being emailed across the United States:
Chicago Police are calling the threats a hoax: