bomb squad

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Emailed Bomb Threats Targeting Local Businesses, Detroit Buildings Not Believed To Be Credible

FBI handling nationwide investigation

December 13, 2018 - 4:04 pm

DETROIT (WWJ) -  An investigation is underway in metro Detroit and nationwide after bomb threats were emailed to a number of locations  -- including government buildings, businesses and universities.

Police in some some Detroit suburbs, including Northville, West Bloomfield, Bloomfield Township and Farmington Hills, say they've received numerous reports of these threats sent to local businesses. 

Farmington Hills police said the emailed messages, which demand a $20,000 payment by the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, "are part of a nationwide fraud" and should be ignored.

Some of the emails had the subject line: "Think Twice."

"At this time the threats are not believed to be credible," the FHPD said, in a statement. "If you receive a threatening email requesting payment of any kind do not respond, but contact your local police department."

In downtown Detroit, the Bomb Squad responded to a pair of buildings after emailed threats were received. The buildings were evacuated, but no explosives were found.

"The sweeps have occurred and the all clear has been given for both the Guardian Building and employees here on Griswold, as well as the Wayne County Treasury Office on Monroe," WWJ's Jon Hewett reported, shortly after 3 p.m. Thursday. "Employees are filing back in as we speak."

Wayne County Sheriff's Deputy Chief of Operations Mike Jaafar said it's unclear who sent the messages that mentioned the Detroit buildings, but it is believed they are linked to others received elsewhere in the U.S. 

There were as many as 12 threats received in the Chicago area.

Across the country, some schools were closed early and others were evacuated because of the threats. Penn State University notified students via a campus alert. Near Atlanta, people were ushered out of a courthouse.

In New York City, the NYPD said the threats were meant to cause disruption and compel recipients into sending money and are not considered credible.

At this point, Jaafar said, the FBI is taking over the investigation.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.