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NYC Says They Were Threatened Like LAUSD But Didn't Freak Out
New York City officials say that their schools received a terror threat similar to the one that prompted LAUSD to completely shut down its 900 or so schools this morning. Unlike Los Angeles, authorities didn't find the threat to be credible and they're treating it as a hoax.
NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton threw some shade at Los Angeles, where he was previously police chief. He told the Associated Press that LAUSD shut down schools without consulting the police department. He said one clue that tipped him off to it being a hoax was that Allah wasn't spelled with a capital "A." He said, "That would be incredible to think that any jihadist would not spell Allah with a capital 'A.'"
The NYPD sent out tweets saying the city had nothing to worry about:
A New York superintendent received the threat early this morning. City schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña told the Associated Press, "We are working closely with the NYPD, and there is no reason for alarm. As always, the safety of our students and staff both in and around schools is our No. 1 concern, and any extra needed security measures will be taken."
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said, "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." He added, "In fact, it’s very important not to overreact in situations like this."
The NYPD has opened up an investigation with the Joint Terrorism Task Force and the FBI. The threat appears to have come from overseas.
LAUSD Superintendent Ramon Cortines said the district police told him about the threat around 5 a.m. this morning. He and board members said they didn't want to take a chance with the district's more than 650,000 students. He said at a press conference this morning, "We get threats all the time. This was a rare threat."
Brian Levin, a terror expert at Cal State San Bernardino, told the Los Angeles Times that the unprecedented closure could embolden others to make threats, "In today's environment it makes sense to err on the side of safety, even though they almost always are hoaxes."
Last year around this time, theaters across the country were worried about a terror threat involving a dumb buddy comedy starring James Franco and Seth Rogen.