Automated Bomb Threats Target Dozens of Schools Across Country

The hoax threats prompted lockdowns, evacuations and police responses.

A series of automated bomb threats and threatening messages were received by schools around the country in recent days.

The threats were received by schools of all levels in 17 states, with most reporting the threat on May 23, according to USA Today.

Ken Trump, a school security expert who also heads a security consulting firm, says the threats fit the description of “swatting.” Trump says swatting is when multiple hoax threats are sent simultaneously, often using computers, in order to maximize school disruptions and police responses.

“Swatting suspects are often more sophisticated,” Trump says. “They can use voice over IP systems or other technologies that can be virtually impossible to track down.”

RELATED: 4 Kan. Students Arrested for School Shooting Threats

Schools responded to the threats by locking down their buildings or evacuating students.

The FBI released a statement saying the department is aware of the threats and is in touch with local law enforcement officials to provide assistance.

The states that received the threats, along with the number of schools confirmed to have been affected by them, include California (three schools); Colorado (six); Delaware (six); Florida (two); Iowa (four); Maine (one); Maryland (one); Massachusetts (four); Minnesota (two); Montana (one); New Hampshire (four); New York (one); Oregon (one); Pennsylvania (two); Utah (one); Vermont (one); Washington (three); Wisconsin (six).

At least 21 schools in the United Kingdom also received threats, although authorities have not said if those were related.

Read Next: Ohio Bill Would Allow Schools to Sue Families for Student Threats

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