House Intelligence Member To AP: Threat That Shut Down LA Schools Was Hoax

A police officer puts up yellow tape to close the school outside of Edward Roybal High School in Los Angeles, on Tuesday morning, Dec. 15, 2015. All schools in the vast Los Angeles Unified School District, the nation... A police officer puts up yellow tape to close the school outside of Edward Roybal High School in Los Angeles, on Tuesday morning, Dec. 15, 2015. All schools in the vast Los Angeles Unified School District, the nation's second largest, have been ordered closed due to an electronic threat Tuesday. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel) MORE LESS
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LATEST: Dec. 15, 2015, 3:41 PM ET

A member of the House Intelligence Committee told the Associated Press that the threat is believed to be a hoax.

UPDATE 4: Dec. 15, 2015, 1:11 PM ET

Los Angeles police chief Charlie Beck said the threat that forced a district-wide school closure “very specific” to the city’s schools, saying it mentioned explosives, assault rifles, and machine pistols.

Beck also said it is irresponsible to question the superintendent’s decision to close schools at this stage, which came after New York City officials called a similar threat a hoax.

UPDATE 3: Dec. 15, 2015, 1:11 PM ET

Schools superintendent Ramon Cortines defended his decision to shut down schools in a news conference Tuesday, saying “I could not take the chance.”

UPDATE 2: Dec. 15, 2015, 12:20 PM ET

A district spokeswoman told Reuters the email threat sent to a board member came from an IP address in Frankfurt, Germany.

UPDATE 1: Dec. 15, 2015, 11:56 AM ET

New York City officials said in a news conference late Tuesday morning they received the same threat as the Los Angeles schools but deemed it a hoax.

Mayor Bill de Blasio called the threat “so generic, so outlandish” that they concluded it was not credible, citing word choices and capitalization used in the email.

Police commissioner William Bratton said it would be a “huge disservice to our nation” to shut down New York City schools based on the threat, which he said was sent to school districts across the country.

ORIGINAL STORY
:

All Los Angeles Unified School District schools are closed Tuesday after a credible bomb threat to students referencing multiple campuses, the New York Times reported.

The content of the threat was not immediately clear, but it was enough for Los Angeles school superintendent Ramon Cortines to make the decision to close all district schools until they can be deemed safe by law enforcement.

An anonymous law enforcement official told the Associated Press the threat was emailed to a school board member and appeared to come from overseas.

Cortines said in a press conference the threat involved “many schools” in the district, with reference to backpacks and packages.

“It was not to one school, two schools or three schools — it was many schools,” he said.

Cortines would not comment further about the threat, calling it simply an electronic “message” that did not mention specific schools. Cortines also said facilities staff would work “systematically” to search all the schools.

“I think it’s important I take the precaution based on what has happened recently and what has happened in the past,” the superintendent said, citing the recent attack in nearby San Bernardino and abroad. “I’m not going to take the chance with the life of a student.”

The district gets threats “all the time,” Cortines said, but this is a “rare threat.”

With 700,000 students spread across more than 900 schools and 187 public charter schools, the Los Angeles Unified School District is the second largest in the nation.

Parents who have already dropped their children off for school have been instructed to pick them up at the reunion gates with an ID, and school officials asked for employers to be flexible with the closure.

This story has been updated.

Latest Livewire

Notable Replies

  1. Somebody does not want to take their exams.
    I hope the idiot who issued this threat gets caught and put in the hoosegow.

  2. Beat me to it. But yeah that’s my bet.

  3. Oh look…a new and fun way for white “sovereign citizen” racist types to deny education to minority students…

  4. It was digital, so a very good chance of nailing the person. And this is a serious crime, so indeed throw the book at them.

  5. There is nothing going on. The schools are all empty. Everyone has been sent home.
    Hundreds of reporters will be on the the scene all day to tell just that,over,and over again.
    There is nothing going on. The schools are all empty. Everyone has been sent home.

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