Yesterday morning, both New York City and Los Angeles school officials received identical emails threatening terror attacks on the school system.
As the Daily Mail reports, “the email said in part,’I am a devout Muslim, and was once against violence, but I have teamed up with a local jihadist cell as it is the only way I’ll be able to accomplish my massacre the correct way.’
According to ABC, the email which was sent to officials in LA and New York City went on: ‘Something big is going down. Something very big. It will make national headlines. Perhaps, even international ones.
‘Every school in the New York City district is being targeted. We have bombs hidden in lockers already at several schools.’
The threatening 360-word email sent to the New York City school superintendent warned that schools would be attacked with pressure cooker bombs, nerve agents and machine guns.
It claimed the writer and ‘138 comrades’ would carry out the attack.
Students ‘at every school in the New York City school district will be massacred, mercilessly. And there is nothing you can do to stop it,’ the message said.
However, two key things tipped off officials that this email was a hoax.
One is that the word Allah was misspelled with a small “a.”
The other is that “The mention of the use of nerve gas appeared to be the link made by authorities to Homeland, the popular series on Showtime starring Claire Danes, as it was part of a threat in a recent episode.”
So there you have it.
Nonetheless, in an abundance of caution, the Los Angeles school superintendent Ramon Cortines, made the decision to close all 900 institutions under his jurisdiction.
But New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said it was an ‘overreaction’.
‘LA is a huge school system – 600-square-mile school system – and to disrupt the daily schedules of half a million school children, their parents, day care, buses, based on an anonymous email… I think it was a significant overreaction.’
He also described the email, saying he believes the same one was sent to a New York school superintendent.
‘In reviewing it, the instigator of the threat may be a Homeland fan’ he said. ‘Basically, watching Homeland episodes, it mirrors recent episodes on Homeland.’
‘[T]here was nothing credible about the threat,’ Bratton continued.
‘It was so generic, so outlandish and posed to numerous school districts simultaneously… the assumption of the NYPD and the assumption of the NYPD were exactly the same, that in fact it would be a huge disservice to our nation to close down our school system.’
Rather than art imitating life, it seems this was a case of life imitating art. Nonetheless, we are living in dangerous times. Do you think the Los Angeles superintendent made the right call?