Dozens of emailed bomb threats targeted businesses, schools and government offices locally and nationwide in what the FBI and other law enforcement agencies deemed a widespread hoax.
Suffolk police said it had responded to at least 17 bomb threats demanding money from businesses, at least one school and a medical facility. Police deemed them "noncredible at this time."
Twelve bomb threats were received in Nassau Thursday, including at a boat store in Seaford, a Flower Hill law office, a Bethpage middle school, a Jericho business complex and a Massapequa Park tutoring center, police said.
Some of the emails had the subject line, “Think Twice," the Associated Press said. The sender claimed to have had an associate plant a small bomb in the recipient's building and that the only way to stop it from being set off was by making an online payment of $20,000 in Bitcoin, the AP reported.
"We are aware of the recent bomb threats made in cities around the country, and we remain in touch with our law enforcement partners to provide assistance," the FBI tweeted Thursday night.
The threats forced students and workers to evacuate their buildings and also led to early dismissal in some schools.
On Long Island, several school districts, including Riverhead, Shoreham-Wading River and Lynbrook, sent out robocalls to families and posted social medial alerts to say they got the email but that police searches found nothing.
In Bethpage, students at John F. Kennedy Middle School sheltered at Bethpage High School.
"This afternoon, we were made aware of a bomb threat that was sent via email to a staff member in the JFK main office," the district said in a robocall to parents. "The police were called right away and we quickly determined to use our emergency procedures and evacuate the building. All JFK students and staff worked together to safely and quickly evacuate to Bethpage HS and were dismissed from there."
All day, authorities nationwide sought to reassure the public as they investigated the emails and declared them a scam, even as they warned people to be vigilant and report threats to public security.
The NYPD said Thursday it was "monitoring multiple bomb threats" that were sent electronically to multiple locations throughout the city.
"These threats are also being reported to other locations nationwide & are NOT considered credible at this time," the NYPD Counterterrorism Bureau said on Twitter.
The NYPD added: "Please be advised — there is an email being circulated containing a bomb threat asking for bitcoin payment. While this email has been sent to numerous locations, searches have been conducted and NO DEVICES have been found."
Other law enforcement agencies also dismissed the threats, which were written in a choppy style reminiscent of the Nigerian prince email scam, the AP reported.