LAUSD Closed Due to Terror Threat
LA, Calif – Los Angeles Unified School District sudden school closings of 900 campuses, as well as 187 charter schools caught everyone off guard; school personnel, bus drivers, some 700,000+ student, parents, and Law Enforcement. This was the first ever closure of an entire school district over a terrorist threat and the school was the second largest in the US. This was due to what officials described as a credible bomb threat against “many schools, not specifically identified” and their students.
According to school officials reporting earlier this week, School Board Members received an email that was routed through Germany, but the origin of the message “has yet to be determined, and we believe is much closer than Germany,” LA Police Chief said. The Chief went on to say in a news conference a few days ago that implied threat was of an attack with “assault rifles and machine pistols,” as well as explosive devices in backpacks or other containers targeting a number of schools in the district.
This unprecedented district-wide shutdown accentuates the nation’s anxiousness over possible terrorist attacks less than two weeks after two Islamic radicals opened fire at a workplace party in San Bernardino, killing 14. This shutdown underscored the difficulties officials face in responding to possible terrorist threats due to heighten fears and not being terrorist experts.
Yet in New York – the district and law enforcement dismissed a nearly identical threat from the same sender as an obvious hoax and not a credible threat due to inconsistencies in the email (see sample email), like; Allah — the Arabic word for God – was not spelled with a capital A and Islamic Extremist would see that as blasphemy. In hind-sight it is easy to see that New York made the right decision. Others believe that LA’s decision will spur more copycat hoaxes.
As of this date more than 2,700 officers were involved in walk-through at more than 1,500 LA school sites in searches for explosives or weapons and it is apparent that this was a hoax.
It is critical under this heighten terrorist state that all school districts should be checking their security measures especially after the threat in Los Angeles. Administrators are showing much concern after hearing about the Los Angeles’ threat and are using it as a way to double check their own security systems.
Some experts see the terror email sent to LAUSD as more than a prank. They fear it may be those testing our systems to see how we will respond to a “Soft Target” and to see if they can bring about terror in our people in the US. Some feel that dealing with these kinds of potential threats is now just a common occurrence for school districts. This is coming to pass after the news today.
Today three of the largest school districts report similar terror threatening emails being received today, three days after LAUSD shut down – after receiving what they believed was a “credible threat” from terrorist but turned out to be a hoax. Today Dallas, Houston, and Miami school districts reported receiving emailing threatening widespread violence at unnamed campuses, similar to messages sent earlier this week to Los Angeles and New York that were considered hoaxes.
There been terrorist attacks at schools before, so it is not outside the norm. Also, it has been learned that one of the San Bernardino killers had visited schools as part of his job as a state inspector but it is believed that there were thoughts or even plans to bring that type of mass causality attack to a school.
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