Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Terroristic Bomb Threats

It appears that there are many bomb threats being called into stores, banks and schools across the country. According to one story, the call may have originated outside the US. The National Terror Alert Response Center has summarized the numerous threats into one Article.
Bomb threats are being received at banks, universities, stores, shopping centers and more across the country. Several of the calls appear to have been placed from outside the United States. In one instance, a Wal-Mart store wired $10,000 to an account after being threatened.
This Wal-Mart store is located in Newport, RI. The full article comes from the ABC affiliate WCVB/TV Channel 5, in Boston (Police: Man Extorts $10,000 From Wal-Mart Store). Police have traced the account to which the money was transfered [sic]. They also say the 7AM call came from a land-line outside the State. They declined to identify the locations any further.

According to the summary, another similar event has taken place in Kansas. The Wichita Eagle (110 held hostage at Dillons in Hutch) reports this threat occurred in Hutchinson KS Dillons store yesterday.
A male caller held 110 employees and customers hostage with threats of a bomb Tuesday at a Hutchinson Dillons store, at one point demanding that they disrobe.

The ordeal ended after about 90 minutes when police determined it was safe to leave. Neither the caller nor any explosives were found.
No explosives were found. The Caller may have been from out of state, apparently had some sort of visual access to the store.

Also on Tuesday morning, a Safeway Store in Prescott, AZ was another target according to this article (Safeway in Prescott evacuated over bomb threat) published in the "Arizona Republic".
FBI agents are investigating a bomb scare at a Prescott Safeway store Tuesday morning because the incident was similar to bomb scares at Safeway stores in other parts of the nation.

“We are aware of other similar incidents with bomb threats at Safeway stores nationwide,” FBI Special Agent Deborah McCarley said Tuesday. “We are looking into whether they are connected.”
No bombs were found, but this threat also involved a demand for the transfer of money. Again in this instance, the Police believe the caller had visual access because he could describe the managers position.

From Vista, CA there is another bomb threat reported at a Von's Store by Channel 10 News (Bomb Threat Prompts Vons Store Evacuation).
A North County supermarket was evacuated Friday after a caller threatened to detonate a bomb and carry out a shooting rampage at the store unless money was wired to an Internet account, authorities said.
This store, like the others, did not yield any dangerous or explosive devices.

Last week a Safeway Store in Sandy, Montana received similar threats. Police investigate bomb threat at Sandy Safeway according to the Sandy Post.
At approximately 9:49 a.m. [Thursday, August 23rd], a female employee at the customer service desk was working with an as-of-yet-unidentified man on the phone, negotiating a wire transfer from Portugal.

Somehow, the man didn’t get the results he was looking for, and he responded by saying he was going to blow up the store if anyone came out of the door into the parking lot, according to the still-developing police report.
The store was cleared and allowed to re-open after about 3 1/2 hours.

Banks in Missouri and Kansas receive bomb threats and once again, the caller asks for wire transfers to foreign accounts in both cases or a previously placed bomb will be detonated according to the "Kansas City Star".
Twice in recent weeks, a con artist has called banks and demanded multiple wire transfers of cash to his overseas accounts.

If the demand is not met, the caller threatens to detonate a bomb that already has been placed in the bank, said FBI spokesman Jeff Lanza.

Lanza would not say whether any of the banks actually paid. A bank in Savannah, Mo., was called Aug. 24, and an institution in Hutchinson, Kan., got a call Tuesday, Lanza said.
Then from "The Iowa Gazette" on-line comes this article Another bomb threat at the U of I
The University of Iowa received another bomb threat today [August 28th]- its third e-mailed threat in just over two weeks.

But UI officials believe the e-mail today, and possibly the previous threats, could be part of a national rash of bomb threats at colleges and universities.
Next is this story (Police respond to bomb threat in Buchanan store) appeared Monday, August 27th in Indiana's South Bend Tribune on-line.
A bomb threat and hostage situation at the Hardings grocery store on Niles/Buchanan Road in Buchanan has forced the evacuation of the surrounding area.
The "Salt Lake Tribune" ran this article Monday, August 27th (Bomb threats clear Orem store today - twice).
Two bomb threats and two evacuations at an Orem Macy's store this morning.
Police say a man called early today to say there was a bomb in the store at 800 North State Street. He ordered store personnel to put cash on the front desk and leave.
KUTV reports that police cleared the store, sent in a bomb squad and found nothing explosive. Employees were allowed to return at 6:30 a.m.
At 7:10 a.m., another bomb threat was called in. KUTV says the store again was evacuated, searched by police and cleared for employees to return.
Yesterday 2 more Wal-Mart Stores in Virginia were the targets of bomb threats according to WDBJ Channel 7 News Roanoke, VA (Bomb threats close Salem, Fairlawn Wal-Marts)
The first call came to Salem. Police say a man called the Woodforest National Bank office inside the store and said there was a bomb inside the building. The caller said the bomb would be detonated unless money was wired to an account. There are no details regarding how much money was demanded; police say the Western Union address given was not in the Roanoke area.
Less than an hour later after the Salem call, somebody phoned in a bomb threat to the Fairlawn Wal-Mart in Pulaski County. Sheriff Jim Davis says this was also directed at Woodforest National Bank inside the store, but he did not provide further details.
Both stores were searched and re-opened without finding anything suspicious. Authorities are not sure the 2 incidents are related, but the similarities are obvious.

More colleges are being targeted according to this article courtesy of WTVF News Channel 5, Nashville, TN (Bomb Threat Raises Concern on Local College Campus).
Three Middle Tennessee State University employees received e-mails Monday saying there were explosive devices on campus. Authorities said they checked several buildings, but didn't find anything.

MTSU President Sidney McPhee has asked students and staff to call campus police if they see any suspicious-looking items.

Princeton University, Clemson University, Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Alaska at Anchorage also received bomb threats.
Boulder Colorado is another location where a store has received bomb threats. According to the web site King Soopers was the target. (Bomb threat closes King Soopers)
[Police spokeswoman Julie] Brooks said someone called in the threat and asked that money be wired or a bomb would be detonated in the market.
Indiana University has also been among the schools receiving bomb threats. The Indiana Daily Student on-line version ( ran a story with this title Dean receives Bryan Hall bomb threat via e-mail. About 10AM Sunday, an e-mail was sent via an anonymous web portal to one of the Deans.
Shortly after noon, occupants were able to return to the building. Then, police, working with IT, determined that universities in other states – Iowa, Illinois and Pennsylvania – received similar messages.
New Hampshire University has also been a receipitant of bomb threats according to the "New Hampshire Union Leader"(UNH office receives fake bomb threat)
Local police are working with federal authorities to investigate who e-mailed a fake bomb threat to the University of New Hampshire's admissions office Sunday morning after several other schools across the country received bomb threats, too.

The anonymous e-mail was sent at about 4 a.m. Sunday and received yesterday morning around 8:30, UNH Deputy Police Chief Paul Dean said. The message warned of a bomb at Grant House, where admissions is located, and a second bomb in a blue backpack at an "undisclosed location" on campus, but did not make any demands.
How many of these are related pranks? For the most part I suspect that those schools that received bomb threats are prank threats. As for the Grocery Stores, Banks and other shopping outlets may or may not be prank threats. But the FBI, State, Local and other policing authorities cannot discount any possible possibility, nor can we, the general public. It is more important now than ever before that "if we see something suspicious, we need to report it".

It is very disconcerting to learn about these threats, because we know that al Qaeda and other Terrorist Groups have every intention of creating another 9/11. If there was ever a need for increased Governmental tracking of suspicious individuals, it is now.

As I have pointed out in previous posts, we have blue "OnStar"® buttons in our cars, and ADT® always on microphones in our homes. Services, for which we gladly pay, but we rail against the NSA Electronic interception of messages to and from known Foreign Terrorists. After the attack is too late. Tell me now how you propose to gather Terrorist intelligence without the Patriot Act and NSA programs.

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