A wave of bomb threats surfaced Thursday at news outlets, government buildings, banks, libraries, schools and other businesses nationwide, including at locations in Southern California.
Many of the threats were sent by email. Several law enforcement agencies across the country later dismissed the threats, which they said were meant to cause disruption and compel recipients into sending money and are not considered credible.
The sender claimed to have had an associate plant a small bomb in the recipient's building and that the only way to stop him from setting it off was by making an online payment of $20,000 in Bitcoin.
As of noon, at least two dozen threats were being tracked Thursday in the city of Los Angeles by the LAPD, according to law enforcement sources.
In a tweet, the agency said it's aware of the threats, several of which were received in the Los Angeles area.
"We are working diligently to determine the source and credibility of these threats," the LAPD tweeted.
Also in Southern California, police received a report of a possible bomb threat that was emailed to a Redondo Beach business in the 3700 block of Redondo Beach Boulevard. The building has been evacuated, according to police.
Details regarding the threats were not immediately available.
The FBI issued a statement in which it said, "We are aware of the recent bomb threats made in cities around the country, and we remain in touch with our law enforcement partners to provide assistance. As always, we encourage the public to remain vigilant and to promptly report suspicious activities which could represent a threat to public safety."
The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department was working a number of threats called in from San Marcos, Vista and Lakeside, all small communities north and east of downtown San Diego.
In San Francisco, police are investigating reports of bomb threats across the city, including the San Francisco Fire Credit Union and The Jewish Community Center.
Similar threats were reported in New York, Florida, Illinois, Utah, Texas, Massachusetts and other states. Some of the emails had the subject line: "Think Twice."
The disruptive emails forced some schools to close early. Other locations were evacuated as police searched the properties.