Authorities: Hundreds of bomb threats across US appear to be hoax

Posted: Updated:
EDISON -

Authorities say bomb threats sent to dozens of schools, universities and other locations across the U.S., including in New Jersey, appear to be a hoax.

The threats were sent out via email Thursday afternoon. The message said that a bomb was placed inside the building and that the sender would deactivate the bomb only if they were paid $20,000 in bitcoin.

The email said in part, “You have to pay me by the end of the workday. If you are late with the payment explosive will explode.”

One of the many places in the Garden State to receive the threat was Memorial Middle School in Fair Lawn. Police responded to the school as a precaution, but nothing dangerous was found inside the school.

Threats were also reported in Bayonne, Eatontown, Linden, Maywood, Rahway, Springfield, Union, Verona and Wyckoff.

But New Jersey was just one of many places around the country that received the threats.

The NYPD said the threats were meant to cause disruption and compel recipients into sending money and are not considered credible.

The Palm Beach County, Florida, sheriff's office and the Boise, Idaho, police said they had no reason to believe that threats made to locations in those areas were credible.

Across the country, some schools were closed early and others were evacuated because of the threats. Penn State University notified students via a campus alert. Near Atlanta, people were ushered out of a courthouse.

It was not immediately clear who was behind the threats. The FBI is investigating.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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