ATLANTA - The FBI is busy investigating a nationwide rash of emailed bomb threats that went out to hundreds of businesses and government buildings, including several in north Georgia.
In Cobb County, authorities confirmed to Channel 2’s Richard Elliot that the threats caused them to evacuate the courthouse.
Threats were also made at Cobb County police headquarters, which also houses their 911 center and police precincts 1 and 4.
Patrick Archibald was at the Cobb County Courthouse to handle a traffic ticket when things started to unfold.
“I couldn’t figure out what they were talking about and then all of a sudden everybody got up and said we needed to evacuate,” Archibald said. “Nobody told me the reason why. I automatically assumed it might be a bomb threat or something.”
As it turned out, it was one of hundreds of bomb threats emailed to businesses and government buildings all over the United States, along with Georgia.
The emails claimed that someone had “hidden an explosive device in the building” and that a “recruited person” was watching that building and will “blow up the bomb” if he sees police activity.
The email demanded $20,000 in bitcoin by the end of the day or they would detonate the explosive.
The FBI is investigating, but so far, none of those threats has proven to be real.
When Elliot told Archibald the size and the scope of the apparent hoax, it surprised him.
“I think it is very … I don’t know, immature of people to do, but one, I feel like we have nothing better to do sometimes than just create chaos for others,” Archibald said.
After standing outside for about 45 minutes, Archibald said deputies let everyone back in.
Earlier in the day, five DeKalb County schools were placed on lockdown after police said someone called in threats to them.
Here is a minute-by-minute look at what is going on:
City of Chamblee confirms they had three threats made via email today.
The Forsyth County Sheriff's Office said it is currently working six separate reports from multiple businesses and private individuals across the county who have received a bomb threat via email.
Gwinnett PD said they have received threats in their jurisdiction:
"GCPD is aware of the bomb threats demanding bitcoin via email. Gwinnett businesses have received the emails. We do not have a list at the moment. Our Hazardous Devices Unit (bomb squad) is not out on any of the calls and so far the threats in Gwinnett have not been credible."
@GwinnettPd is aware of the nationwide bomb threat being delivered via email. There is no information to support the credibility of this threat. If you receive this threat contact @GwinnettPd to document the incident.— Gwinnett Police Dept (@GwinnettPd) December 13, 2018
Atlanta police release statement about apparent threats:
"We are aware of emailed bomb threats being made nationwide. Multiple businesses within our jurisdiction have reported threats to us and we are investigating. We encourage everyone to report suspicious activities and suspicious items to police immediately. At this time we continue investigating these threats."
Troup County said they investigated two email threats made against businesses in the 100 blk of Corporate Park E and 100 blk of S. Davis Rd.
Peachtree City police are investigating an email bomb threat to an employee at TDK on TDK Blvd. The department said it does not appear credible.
Cobb County confirms the courthouse was cleared and has resumed normal operations.
Calhoun EMA says the city has received multiple threats:
"We have received multiple bomb threats all over town. No dangers have been found at this time. Be aware of your surroundings but please stay calm. We have found nothing to validate any of these threats."
The FBI has released a statement saying:
“We are 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.”
In Cobb County, authorities tell Channel 2 that threats have caused them to evacuate the courthouse. Threats were also made at Cobb County police headquarters, which also houses their 911 center, and police precincts 1 and 4.
There have been at least four locations across downtown Atlanta where bomb threats have been reported.
Cartersville police said they are looking into a threat on South Erwin Street.
Across the country:
Bomb threats have also been made to universities, newspapers and television stations across the country.
We're working a number of bomb threat calls in OKC. There have been similar threats called into several locations around the country. No credible threat found at this point. We encourage the public to continue to be vigilant and call with anything suspicious.— Oklahoma City Police (@OKCPD) December 13, 2018
MSP Fusion Center tracking multiple bomb threats emailed to numerous businesses in the state. MSP Bomb Squad notified and local departments are responding in their communities. Similar threats have been received in other states. We will share more info when available.— Mass State Police (@MassStatePolice) December 13, 2018
CapAlert: There has been a bomb threat at Yochum Hall. Please evacuate Yochum Hall until further notice.— Capital University (@Capital_U) December 13, 2018
CMPD is actively investigating multiple unsubstantiated bomb threats in the Charlotte area. At this time, there are similar reports happening in other cities across the country. We’ll continue to release information as it becomes available. pic.twitter.com/eC9nMbxcGa— CMPD News (@CMPD) December 13, 2018
SCAM ALERT: There is a rampant hoax email being distributed across the country of a bomb threat making demands for money. Emails began locally around 1 pm. We do NOT believe these emails have any validity and direct you to delete email. Do NOT send money. More info coming soon— Grand Rapids Police (@GrandRapidsPD) December 13, 2018
(1/2) At approximately 10AM this morning #SFPD responded to reports of bomb threats at numerous locations throughout the city. SFPD is responding to each location. We have received information that several other cities across the United States have received similar threats. pic.twitter.com/AEyFanZRvr— San Francisco Police (@SFPD) December 13, 2018
Bomb threat messages via email have been sent to several businesses demanding ransom. No credibility to any individual threat generic email sent en masse— EL PASO POLICE DEPT (@EPPOLICE) December 13, 2018
We are currently monitoring multiple bomb threats that have been sent electronically to various locations throughout the city.— NYPDCounterterrorism (@NYPDCT) December 13, 2018
These threats are also being reported to other locations nationwide & are NOT considered credible at this time. pic.twitter.com/GowGG4oZ9l
BOMB THREAT:— Toronto Police OPS (@TPSOperations) December 13, 2018
King Subway Station
-A threat has been received
-Police are investigating
-King Subway Station has been evacuated
*Anyone with info that may assist in this investigation is asked to call police*#GO2285161
BakersfieldPD is aware of numerous bomb threat emails— Bakersfield Police (@bakersfieldpd) December 13, 2018
that have been reported across the US. Locally, we have received 5 calls for service from people who recv'd similar emails. All threats have been unsubstantiated. Please call with any further info regarding these threats. https://t.co/SU0B4Hz8Eu
#LASD is one of several Police Departments nationwide to receive threats to several businesses within our vast jurisdiction. We treat these each with the gravity they deserve & are conducting investigations, but no threat has been substantiated. Please call if you have info. pic.twitter.com/b4kDaTGhOW— LA County Sheriff's (@LASDHQ) December 13, 2018
This morning we received a call from a local business reporting a bomb threat by email. The threat demanded cash in #Bitcoin. A check of the business determined the threat to be unfounded. Similar threats have been received across the nation today. #bombthreat @CityGroverBeach pic.twitter.com/kufGAnmxdj— Grover Beach Police (@Grover_BeachPD) December 13, 2018
Cont'd: CPD takes such threats seriously. An email containing a bomb threat is circulating to locations in Columbia & across the country asking for bitcoin payment. CPD is conducting searches & NO device/hazardous materials have been found.— Columbia Police Dept (@ColumbiaPDSC) December 13, 2018
Due to our response to the bomb threat calls, please be advised that there will be increased wait times for an officer to attend certain calls. Our response to emergency calls will not be impacted. #YYC— Calgary Police (@CalgaryPolice) December 13, 2018
Press release from the PIO is coming soon. #OPD is aware of the bomb threat email being received across the nation and is responding to 911 calls locally. We are working with our federal partners in the investigation and no devices have been located. via @OPDLtLeavitt— Omaha Police Dept (@OmahaPolice) December 13, 2018
The Valdosta Daily Times staff has evacuated the office at 201 N. Troup Street due to a bomb threat. We will update you with more information as it comes.— Valdosta Daily Times (@TheVDT) December 13, 2018
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