Wave of bomb threats reported across U.S., but credibility questioned

 Wave of bomb threats reported across U.S., but credibility questioned

(Reuters) - A rash of bomb threats were received on Thursday across the United States targeting dozens of businesses, public buildings and facilities, but the credibility of those threats could not immediately be ascertained, law enforcement officials said.

Police departments in several U.S. cities said on Twitter that local businesses had received a bomb threat in an email demanding payment in bitcoin currency.

Among the cities where bomb threats were reported by authorities on official Twitter accounts were New York, Detroit, San Francisco, Oklahoma City, Denver and Raleigh, North Carolina.

The FBI has launched a query into the matter, noting that a similar wave of threats to schools and other public buildings occurred a year or more ago without consequence, but the authenticity of the latest batch was not immediately confirmed, a law enforcement official told Reuters.

"We are aware of threats being made in cities across the country," Rukelt Dalberis, an FBI spokesman in Los Angeles, told Reuters separately. "We remain in touch with our law enforcement partners. We encourage the public to remain vigilant and report suspicious activities that could represent a threat."

The New York Police Department said in a Twitter message that it does not consider the threats to be credible at this time.

Multiple U.S. law enforcement sources told Reuters that no actual explosives had surfaced in connection with any of the threats within the first hour of the scare.

(Writing by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Reporting by Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles, Makini Brice in Washington, Gina Cherelus in New York; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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Updated Date: Dec 14, 2018 03:06:19 IST