(Editor’s Note: There was at least one Kentucky newspaper, the Appalachian News Express in Pikeville reporting it received the threat. We’ll send an update late today.)
By Mike Stunson and Morgan Eads, The Lexington Herald-Leader
Lexington was among cities throughout the country where police and emergency crews responded Thursday afternoon to a series of emailed bomb threats, according to Lexington police.
Preliminary investigation from Lexington police indicates the threats were email scams, and they were following up on each incident. All information gathered was being sent to the FBI, police said.
Police spokeswoman Brenna Angel said that as of about 4 p.m., threats had been confirmed at seven locations in Lexington, including parks, businesses and a school.
A threat was made to Lexington Catholic High School, according to WKYT, the Herald-Leader’s reporting partner. Parents were alerted about the threat and students were evacuated, the news station reported. The school normally dismisses at 3:05 p.m.
The Lexington Fire Department also reportedly responded to 3008 Atkinson Avenue, which houses AAA, for a bomb threat. The fire department reportedly cleared the scene.
WBKO in Bowling Green also received a bomb threat, the station reported.
Threats were also reported in Louisville, according to the Courier-Journal.
According to NBC News, bomb threats have been reported at news outlets, government buildings, banks, libraries, schools and other businesses across the country.
The New York City Police Department said on social media Thursday afternoon that the email threats appear to be “meant to cause disruption and/or obtain money.”
Nashville police also said the threats appear to be a hoax, The Tennessean reported. Threats were reported in Massachusetts, Oklahoma, New York, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Utah, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Idaho, Indiana, North Carolina and Illinois, according to media reports.
The full text of the emailed threat is included below, with misspellings preserved:
“Subject: Dont play with me
I write you to inform you that my man carried the explosive device (lead azide) into the building where your business is located. My recruited person constructed the explosive device according to my guide. It can be hidden anywhere because of its small size, it is impossible to destroy the supporting building structure by my bomb, but in the case of its detonation there will be many victims.
My man is watching the situation around the building. If he notices any strange activity, panic or policemen the device will be exploded.
I would like to propose you a transaction. 20.000 dollars is the price for your life. Tansfer it to me in Bitcoin and I guarantee that I have to withdraw my mercenary and explosive will not detonate. But do not try to cheat- my guarantee will become actual only after 3 confirmations in blockchain.
My payment details (btc address): [Redacted]
You must solve problems with the transfer by the end of the workday, if the workday is over and people start leaving the building the device will explode.
Nothing personal, if you don’t transfer me the bitcoin and an explosive device detonates, next time other commercial enterprises will send me a lot more, because this is not a one-time action.
To stay anonimous I will no longer enter this email. I monitor my address every thirty min and after receiving the money I will order my person to leave your area.
If the bomb detonates and the authorities see this message:
We are not the terrorist organization and do not take any liability for explosions in other places.”