Bomb threat sought bitcoin

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San Francisco Police were called to at least nine locations around 10 a.m., including the JCC, which was ordered to evacuate after a threat was made against the San Francisco Fireman's Credit Union, located directly across the street.

One busy subway station in downtown Toronto was briefly evacuated Thursday afternoon due to a threat received in the area, but King Station was up and running again within hours. The emails demanded bitcoin payment in exchange for locations of the bombs.

The threats were being received by email and are "believed to be connected" to many other bomb threats in Canada and the United States this week, police said.

The Alberta RCMP issued a statement Thursday afternoon saying the threats came with a demand for a Bitcoin, and asked anyone who received an email threat not to respond to the demands.

However, as the Federal Bureau of Investigation warns, it's still important to take any bomb threat seriously and to report suspicious activity or emails to the authorities immediately. They were sent from a spoofed email address.

"We treat all of these incidents very, very seriously, and investigate all of them fully", said Toronto Police Const. David Hopkinson. They warned in imperfect English that unless $20,000 in Bitcoin was paid, a bomb would go off.

The University of South Florida reports it received a threat. "As always, we encourage the public to remain vigilant & to report suspicious activities that could represent a threat to public safety".

A spokesman for Toronto police says it's not clear whether the threat, or any of the others received across the city, were related to those in other locations.

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"It appears to be a hoax, but we are not taking any chances", Brabant said.

Scores of institutions have been shut down for the same reason: an email in which the sender claims to have set a bomb inside the structure and to have their "man" nearby "watching the situation around the building".

The NYPD's counter-terrorism officials tweeted a similar message saying, "We are now monitoring multiple bomb threats that have been sent electronically to various locations throughout the city". The businesses have been investigated and there was no real threat, he said. "These threats are also being reported to other locations nationwide and are not considered credible at this time".

US authorities said Thursday that threats sent to dozens of schools, universities and other locations appeared to be a hoax.

The FBI didn't respond to a request for comment to The Associated Press.

Employees at the News and Observer in Raleigh, North Carolina, and the Valdosta Daily Times in Georgia tweeted about evacuating because of the bomb threats.

Penn State University notified students via a text alert about threats to a half-dozen buildings and an airport on its main campus in State College, Pennsylvania.

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