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About 900 Los Angeles Schools Close Temporarily Due to Terrorist Threats Targeting 'Many' (Updated)

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Update: Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), ranking member of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee, said at about 12:30 p.m. Tuesday:

While we continue to gather information about the threat made against the Los Angeles and New York School Departments, the preliminary assessment is that it was a hoax or something designed to disrupt school districts in large cities. The investigation is ongoing as to where the threat originated from and who was responsible.

Read more at the Los Angeles Times.

Update: The BBC reported Tuesday that schools in New York City had also been threatened, but officials there responded differently:

New York City officials said they received the same threat that closed LA schools but concluded it was a hoax.

The city’s police commissioner, William Bratton, said an emailed threat came from overseas, purporting to be from jihadists, but was not considered credible.

He said he thought Los Angeles officials overreacted.

The email is believed to have come from an IP address in Frankfurt, Germany, said district spokeswoman Shannon Haber.

* * *

The Los Angeles Unified School District — whose schools are attended by 700,000 students — shut hundreds of doors Tuesday after “credible electronic threats” were sent to a board member.

From LAist:

Police told the Los Angeles Times that a bomb threat prompted the district to close all schools effective immediately. At a press conference this morning, LAUSD Superintendent Ramon Cortines said “electronic threats” were made. Little other information about the threats is being released. Students, staff and parents were encouraged to stay away from campus until the situation is resolved.

Cortines says the district routinely receives threats, but this was a “rare” and specific so the district felt the need to shut the entire system down. He said that “many” schools were threatened and he referenced the recent terrorist attack in San Bernardino as a reason for the closure: “It is important that I take precaution based on what has happened recently, and what has happened in the past.”

Board of Education President Steve Zimmer said the district was acting “out of an abundance of caution.”

Read more.

—Posted by Natasha Hakimi Zapata

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