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Bomb threats emailed to multiple locations across the country, including Missoula

Posted at 4:35 PM, Dec 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-13 19:48:41-05

Dozens of institutions across the country received email threats Thursday afternoon, causing evacuations and sweeps of buildings.

The University of Montana sent a UM Alert Thursday afternoon saying that Missoula government offices received two bomb threats via email on Thursday. Missoula law enforcement has investigated and discovered through the FBI Bomb Data Center, there is a nationwide extortion scheme requesting money via Bitcoin.

The University of Montana Police Department (UMPD) would like the campus community to be aware of, and to report any threats to our office at 243-4000 emergency line or 243-6131 non-emergency line. 

Should you receive a threat to a campus location we encourage you to use your normal procedure of having a person familiar with the building check for unusual items, packages or people.  If something suspicious is located, call UMPD and we will respond.  The FBI is currently working to backtrack these emails to their source. 

City of Missoula spokesperson Ginny Merriam reports the Missoula Redevelopment Agency received the email threat Thursday afternoon, which they turned over to the Missoula Police Department.

Missoula County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Brenda Bassett reports that Animal Control also received the threat, which was turned over to the MCSO late Thursday afternoon.

At this time it unclear if the threats, which have been sent to places including the University of Washington in Seattle, throughout San Francisco and Penn State University in Pennsylvania, are connected. The FBI said it is aware of the threats and is working with law enforcement to provide assistance.

In Seattle, UW noted in a campus-wide alert that the FBI had “advised that the email is not a credible threat.”

The university concluded sweeps of possibly affected buildings.

The Thurston County Courthouse in Olympia, Washington and the Park Record newspaper in Park City, Utah, also received similarly threatening emails. People have been allowed back inside buildings at those locations, according to tweets on their verified Twitter accounts.

In California, the Riverside Sheriff’s Office had “an influx of email threats” and is taking them seriously, although no threat has been substantiated.

The San Francisco Police Department responded to reports of bomb threats at locations throughout the city.

“We have received information that several other cities across the United States have received similar threats,” police said.

Pennsylvania State Police are “investigating some bomb threats in the eastern part of the state,” a spokesman for the department tells CNN.

“Penn State University Police, in conjunction with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, is investigating a message received by individuals in multiple locations on campus and across the state,” the university said in a statement. “Police say this does not appear to be a legitimate threat, however, an investigation is ongoing.”

— additional information by MTN News