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DC-area police investigate threats believed to be part of nationwide hoax

WASHINGTON — Authorities say emailed bomb threats sent to dozens of schools, universities and other locations across the U.S. appear to be a hoax.

D.C. police said officers responded to bomb threats at several locations across the District, including near the U.S. Capitol and near the National Zoo.

Authorities said none of the threats have been substantiated and there have been no evacuations.

In a statement, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said the threats in D.C. appear to be related to the wave of threats reported across the country. The threats were sent via email and demanded ransom in bitcoin, “but we have no knowledge that anyone has complied with the transaction demands,” she said in the statement.

If you receive an emailed threat or see something suspicious, you should call 911, authorities said.

Montgomery County police tweeted Thursday afternoon it had been made aware of bomb threats made via email across the county. “At this time, it appears this is a trend across the nation with many areas receiving similar threats,” the department tweeted.

The Frederick Police Department in Maryland said it has also received several bomb threats via email. “Officers have cleared the locations and determined them to be safe. Detectives are working to determine the origin of the threats.”

Threats were reported across the country. Officials in Atlanta, New Orleans, and Anchorage, Alaska, say businesses received emailed bomb threats Thursday that were part of what they believe is a nationwide hoax.

Police are working with the FBI to investigate every threat.

The New York City Police Department said the threats sent Thursday were meant to cause disruption and compel recipients into sending money and are not considered credible.

Some of the emails had the subject line “Think Twice.”

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 noticed students via a campus alert. Near Atlanta, people were ushered out of a courthouse.

WTOP’s Megan Cloherty and Jack Moore and the Associated Press contributed to this report.


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