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NYC gets threat similar to LAUSD, but considers it a hoax

Craig Clough | December 15, 2015

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sirens NYCNew York City schools also received an email terror threat today, according to various media reports. But unlike the LA Unified school district, which closed all of its campuses this morning, New York schools remained open today.

In fact, New York leaders are cracking jokes about the situation as LA Unified officials are closing roughly 1,000 campuses and mobilizing police units around the city to search district buildings.

NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said the email received in New York was similar to the one received in Los Angeles, but police have determined it not to be credible and are investigating it as a hoax, according to CBS and the Associated Press.

Bratton said big indicator that the email is a hoax is that the word “Allah” was not spelled with a capital “A.”

“The language in the email would lead us to believe that this is not a jihadist initiative,” Braton told CBS. ”That would be incredible to think that any jihadist would not spell ‘Allah’ with a capital ‘A.'”

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio also said the message appeared to be a hoax, and one that didn’t fool New York officials.

“Based on the information that we have, this was a very generic piece of writing sent to a number of different places simultaneously and also written in a fashion that suggests that it’s not plausible, and we’ve come to the conclusion that we must continue to keep our school system open,” said de Blasio, according to CBS. “In fact, it’s very important not to overreact in situations like this.”

Bratton, the former chief of the Los Angeles Police Department, said he thought LA Unified had overreacted and even poked fun at the threat by joking that the hoaxster appeared to steal plot lines from the hit TV show “Homeland.”

“In reviewing it, I think the instigator of the threat may be a `Homeland’ fan … it [the threats made] mirrors a lot of the recent episodes of `Homeland,’ ” Bratton said, according to the New York Post.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, however, issued a statement this morning that supported the decision to close LA Unified’s schools.

“I understand the concern families must be feeling this morning, but it is critical we remain calm. This decision has been made by the School District in an abundance of caution,” Garcetti said in a statement. “As Mayor, we have shared our support and our intelligence and LAPD is working in collaboration with LAUSD School Police to fully investigate this threat. We have also asked our Emergency Operations Center to be activated and we have arranged for MTA to help by providing free bus rides to all LAUSD students. We will continue to monitor this situation. Nothing is more important to me than the safety of our families.”

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