NewsAround Acadiana


All-clear given at UL and other businesses following bomb threat

Posted at 10:17 PM, Dec 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-14 02:03:04-05

The UL Police Department has given the all-clear following a call of a threat at the Olivier Tower parking garage on McKinley Street.

UL police say a university employee received an email threat of an explosive device in one of the buildings.

The building and areas surrounding the tower were evacuated as a precaution. An email alert was sent out to students and staff.

Lafayette police also tell KATC that seven other businesses in the city received similar threats. Police say that these threats were made by email and are demanding money from those businesses.

Those locations have been cleared in the city by police and fire officials.

If you receive an email, please call the Lafayette Police Department.

Police are working to find the source of these threats.

LUS Fiber on Moss Street has been confirmed as one of the businesses that received one of the threats.

Chris Welty was live on KATC’s Facebook as crews searched the parking tower on McKinley Street. UL police spokesperson Billy Abrams gave an update on the situation.

Similar threats were reported around the state.

New Iberia police responded to a call of threats. The buildings in question were cleared, and no devices were found.

Three businesses in Opelousas were also victims of the widespread email message. One of those locations was Holy Ghost Catholic Church.

Law enforcement officers in Ville Platte are investigating a threat at the Evangeline Parish Clerk of Court’s Office. Deputies say the clerk of court’s office received the email at 12:30 p.m. The building was evacuated as a safety precaution, and a security perimeter was set up around the parish courthouse.

Lake Charles police responded to two different locations after emails were received. Officers first went to Cumulus Media on Broad Street at 12:28 p.m. after two employees received the email threat, according to a police spokesman. After officers spoke with the manager and looked over the content of the email, they determined a search of the building wasn’t necessary.

At 1:35 p.m., Lake Charles officers then responded to Chennault International Airport on Senator J. Bennett Johnston Ave. regarding a similar threat. Firefighters conducted an external search of the property.

The Alexandria Police Department alerted the public via their Facebook page about two possible threats, but, according to a spokesperson, no credible threat was found at either bank.

Law enforcement officers are investigating bomb threats in the Baton Rouge area.

Law enforcement agencies are working with Louisiana State Police. State police report a mass email was sent out across the state to judicial agencies, schools and businesses.  State police released a statement about the investigation.

Louisiana State Police is aware of numerous reports across the state of bomb threats being received from multiple email…

Posted by Louisiana State Police on Thursday, December 13, 2018

The FBI in New Orleans responded with the following statement regarding the 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.”

Threats of a similar nature have appeared at businesses, such as banks and other companies, nationwide.

According to the Associated Press, the bomb threats were found not to be credible. Read their report below.

NEW YORK (AP) – A wave of bomb threats emailed Thursday to hundreds of schools, businesses and government buildings across the U.S. triggered searches, evacuations and fear – but there were no signs of explosives, and authorities said the scare appeared to be a crude extortion attempt.

Law enforcement agencies across the country dismissed the threats, saying they were meant to cause disruption and compel recipients into sending money and were not considered credible.

Some of the emails had the subject line: “Think Twice.” They were sent from a spoofed email address. 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.

“We are currently monitoring multiple bomb threats that have been sent electronically to various locations throughout the city,” the New York City Police Department’s counterterrorism unit tweeted. “These threats are also being reported to other locations nationwide & are NOT considered credible at this time.”

Other law enforcement agencies also dismissed the threats, which were written in a choppy style reminiscent of the Nigerian prince email scam.

The Palm Beach County, Florida, sheriff’s office and the Boise, Idaho, police said they had no reason to believe that threats made to locations in those areas were credible. One of the emails wound up in a spam filter, Boise Police Chief William Bones said.

The FBI said it is assisting law enforcement agencies that are dealing with the threats.

“As always, we encourage the public to remain vigilant and to promptly report suspicious activities which could represent a threat to public safety,” the FBI said in a statement.

Across the country, some schools closed early and others were evacuated or placed on lockdown because of the hoax. Authorities said a threat emailed to a school in Troy, Missouri, about 55 miles (88 kilometers) northeast of St. Louis, was sent from Russia.

The bomb threats also prompted evacuations at city hall in Aurora, Illinois, the offices of the News & Observer in Raleigh, North Carolina, a suburban Atlanta courthouse and businesses in Detroit.

“Organizations nationwide, both public and private, have reported receiving emailed bomb threats today,” Michigan State Police spokeswoman Shannon Banner said. “They are not targeted toward any one specific sector.”

Penn State University notified students via a text alert about threats to a half-dozen buildings and an airport on its main campus in State College, Pennsylvania. In an update, the school said the threat appeared to be part of a “national hoax.”

Officials at Columbine High School in Colorado were dealing Thursday with a bomb threat of a different sort. Students were being kept inside for the rest of the school day after someone called in a bomb threat against the school.

The Jefferson County, Colorado, Sheriff’s Office said the caller claimed to have placed explosive devices in the school and to be hiding outside with a gun.

There is nothing to validate the threat was found at Columbine, where 12 students and a teacher were killed by two students in 1999, according to Sheriff’s spokesman Mike Taplin.

Two dozen other Colorado schools were also temporarily placed on lockout, meaning their doors were locked but classes continued normally, as the threat was investigated.