Buffalo Police confirm to 2 On Your Side that multiple buildings downtown received bomb threats Thursday afternoon.
Police Captain Jeff Rinaldo says that bomb threats were made to six locations in Buffalo, including the Ellicott Square Building, Catholic Health Associate Regional Training Center and the law offices of Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria LLP.
Police say these threats were emailed in. The Associated Press reports that, "Some of the emails had the subject line: "Think Twice."' And that the bomb threats appear to be a hoax.
FBI Buffalo released the following statement Thursday afternoon about the bomb threats:
“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.”
Shortly after threats were made, everyone who was evacuated was allowed to go back into the buildings after authorities determined there was no harm.
Authorities are working with an Intel unit with the Joint Terrorism Task Force to determine more about these threats.
The Niagara County Sheriff's Office says they received a call from Campus Safety at Niagara University regarding a possible bomb threat.
A professor at the university received an email stating that there was a bomb on campus and it would be detonated if $20,000 in Bitcoin was not transferred to an account.
After partnering with other law enforcement agencies regarding similar threats across the country, the threat was determined not credible.
"Between Buffalo and Syracuse there were over 100 bomb threats made today said Rinaldo. "In the Erie/Niagara County area all the way to Rochester/ Monroe County there were 30 of those."
Niagara University released the following statement below.
"Dozens of other institutions across the state and country have received this same or similar emails, all requesting a financial transaction, and based on consultation with law enforcement we now know that this is not a credible threat."
Niagara County Community College also received a threat via email.
"This afternoon, Niagara County Community College Public Safety and the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office investigated a report of a bomb threat on campus after receiving an email threatening the College. The investigation concluded there was no threat to the campus. We have notified our campus community."
Bomb threats were also sent to some departments at the University at Buffalo.
"Some UB departments have received bomb threats demanding payment in bitcoin.These threats appear to be connected to fraudulent targeting of institutions nationwide. So far, all such threats have been determined to be false. Although these threats do not appear to be credible, University Police urge the campus community to continue to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity or devices."
Catholic Health released the statement Thursday afternoon in-regards to the emailed bomb threat:
"Building is being evacuated out of an abundance of caution after receipt of an emailed bomb threat. Buffalo PD and fire are on the scene. Building has to be swept before they can be allowed back in."
Though it appears to be part of a hoax, Rinaldo says each threat must be taken seriously by law enforcement.
"It is a large strain on resources to respond to these and the intent is to disrupt people’s lives, it’s a very serious offense."
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