Firefighters stand by their equipment after a bomb threat evacuated the King Street subway station in downtown Toronto, Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy

Police across Canada probe bomb threats as U.S. authorities dismiss ‘hoax’

A police spokesman said the emails were the same as those received elsewhere in North America

Police forces in cities across Canada investigated multiple bomb threats on Thursday as authorities in the U.S. said similar threats sent to dozens of locations appeared to be a hoax.

Police departments in Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, Ottawa and Winnipeg, as well as RCMP detachments in B.C. and Manitoba, were investigating multiple threats.

READ MORE: B.C. businesses evacuated due to emailed bomb threat

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.

A spokesman for Toronto police said it wasn’t clear whether that threat, or any of “at least 10” received across the city, were related to those in other locations.

“The problem with that thinking is — if you believe they’re related and this is nonsense — then your investigation suffers and your response suffers,” Const. David Hopkinson said in an interview.

“We know … that a number of other cities have received bomb threats. To us, that doesn’t matter — we will investigate them seriously every time.”

In Montreal, police responded to five emailed bomb threats received by local businesses Thursday afternoon.

Agent Jean-Pierre Brabant, a police spokesman, said the emails were the same as those received elsewhere in North America. They warned in imperfect English that unless $20,000 in Bitcoin was paid, a bomb would go off.

“Each call was taken very seriously,” Brabant said. “We sent police officers to the site, they searched the premises. We found nothing suspicious. There were no explosives.”

It was not necessary to call in the bomb squad, he added.

He said there was nothing connecting the companies, which were spread across the city.

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

The Calgary Police Service said in a statement that the threats received there were “not believed to be credible,” but officers were taking precautions nonetheless.

“The threats are being received by email and they have been sent to various locations throughout the morning,” its statement reads.

“Similar threats are being received across the continent and are believed to be connected.”

Police in Edmonton issued a similar statement, saying they had received several reports of bomb threats emailed to local businesses.

The RCMP said it was aware of email threats made across the Canada, and urged anyone who received one to exercise caution.

“If you have been the recipient of one of these e-mail threats, do not respond to the Bitcoin demand,” the force said in a statement.

“Remain alert and immediately contact your local police.”

South of the border, a wave of bomb threats emailed to hundreds of schools, businesses and government buildings triggered searches, evacuations and fear. However, there were no signs of explosives, and authorities said the scare appeared to be a crude extortion attempt.

Law enforcement agencies across the U.S. dismissed the threats, saying they were meant to cause disruption and compel recipients into sending money and were not considered credible.

Some of the emails had the subject line: ”Think Twice.” They were sent from a spoofed email address. The sender claimed to have had an associate plant a small bomb in the recipient’s building and that the only way to stop him from setting it off was by making an online payment in Bitcoin.

Penn State University notified students about threats to a half-dozen buildings and an airport on its main campus. In an update, the school said the threat appeared to be part of a “national hoax.”

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

McCallum declares Feb. 1, 2020 RCMP ‘Appreciation Day’ in Surrey

This year is the centennial anniversary of the national police force

Uber threatens legal action to ‘defend its right’ to operate in Surrey

‘I have no concerns,’ Mayor Doug McCallum replies

Cloverdale stamp club looking for new members

Surrey-based group meets every second and fourth Monday of the month

Locke calls for brake on Surrey policing plan, says First Nations not consulted

Surrey City Councillor Brenda Locke wants immediate suspension of city’s policing transition process

Surrey RCMP ask for help finding 18-year-old David Talero

Police say he was last seen on Jan. 20 at about 10:47 a.m. in 13400 block of 108th Avenue

VIDEO: Feds look to help 126 Canadians quarantined in China for coronavirus

China has confirmed more than 4,500 cases of the new virus, with more than 100 deaths

Party bus door fault for years ahead of Langley woman’s death: Coroner

Tuesday report classifed Chelsea James’ death accidental, but was critical of bus inspection process

Sap thief taps Saanich park maple trees, faces hefty fine

One tree found with four taps in Mount Doug Park

B.C. reports first coronavirus in Vancouver region

First patient visited Wuhan, China, reported symptoms

Victoria resident says WestJet employee uttered racist comment, refused to let her on plane

Customer claims she was told ‘You guys can’t handle your alcohol’ by WestJet employee

Bystander who tried to help dog being attacked not liable for its death: B.C. tribunal

Owner of dog killed tried to get $5,000 in damages from man who tried to save it

INFOGRAPHIC: See how fast your B.C. city grew in 2019

The province’s fastest-growing municipalities were located on Vancouver Island

Landowner hearings begin for Trans Mountain expansion in Alberta

Detailed route talks start in Spruce Grove, in B.C. communities soon

Alessia Cara to host and perform at 2020 Juno Awards

Multi-platinum Canadian singer-songwriter also up for six awards, including Artist of the Year

Most Read