Cedar Rapids police say robo-email bomb threats aren't credible

The incident has meant schools in Jefferson County have been put on lockdown

Image Schools in Jefferson County were put on lockdown after a bomb threat at Columbine High School

Scores of similar, emailed bomb threats have been reported to police in multiple U.S. states, prompting panic and evacuations, as the culprits demanded payment in Bitcoin form, and threatened to cause "many victims" otherwise.

Police in Ann Arbor tell us they're also investigating multiple threats. 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. They responded to 15 incidents, but believe there are many more who received threats.

A threat in the area of King subway station prompted officials to close down and evacuate passengers just before 3:30 p.m.

Threats have also been reported outside the United States in Canada and New Zealand.

In Chicago, police evacuated several buildings after bomb threats, while the New York City Police Department has dismissed the threats as likely not credible.

"If you have been the recipient of one of these email threats, please do not respond to the Bitcoin demand", RCMP said.

Around the country, Columbine High School, WNDU in IN and Capital University were among those evacuated for bomb threats.

Representation of the Bitcoin virtual currency standing on a PC motherboard
Image The email threats demanded payments of $20,000 in Bitcoin

Businesses in Stratford, St. Marys and Vanastra have also reported receiving bomb threats.

The Rush Copley Medical Center in Aurora, Illinois, posted on Twitter that the bomb threat received by employees earlier was not deemed credible and did not compromise patient care. Near Atlanta, people were ushered out of a courthouse.

Local police also reported bomb threats made to several businesses in Regina and Saskatoon.

According to Oncescu, the known targets of the email threats appear to have been selected at random. Cybersecurity agencies in the two countries have, however, acknowledged the bomb threat emails.

But US government sources speaking on background to Reuters said that such findings were inconclusive and that federal investigators doubted that Russians or the Russian government were involved. "We encourage the public to remain vigilant and report suspicious activities that could represent a threat".

I write you to inform you that my man has hidden an explosive device (tronitrotoluene) in the building where your business is located. "They are not targeted toward any one specific sector". Both police forces said the threats appeared to be unfounded.

Penn State issued an alert for the University Park campus at 2:14 p.m. stating that University Police and the FBI were investigating threats to campus buildings.

Latest News