All schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District were ordered closed Tuesday due to the threat.
New York officials, however, kept schools open. NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton called the move in Los Angeles a “significant overreaction” and said the decision there was made before school officials consulted with the Los Angeles Police Department.
“We do believe … that this is in fact a hoax, and we will investigate it as such,” Bratton said.
“We cannot allow ourselves to raise levels of fear.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters that he was “absolutely convinced” there was no danger to schoolchildren in his city, saying there was “nothing credible about the threat.”
“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,” de Blasio said. “In fact, it’s very important not to overreact in situations like this.”
Bratton said a New York superintendent received the threat early Tuesday morning. He said it appears the communication came from Frankfurt, Germany, 1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa reported.
The threatening email warned that every school in the city would be attacked with pressure cooker bombs, nerve gas agents, machine pistols and machine guns.
The email said the writer and “138 comrades” would carry out the attack. It said, “The students at every school in the New York City school district will be massacred, mercilessly. And there is nothing you can do to stop it.”
The anonymous writer claimed to be a student at a district high school who had been bullied.
A law enforcement official with access to the document provided the email to The Associated Press. The official wasn’t authorized to disclose details of an ongoing investigation and spoke on condition of anonymity.
The NYPD began an immediate investigation with the Joint Terrorism Task Force and the FBI. Bratton said one indication that the email was a hoax is that Allah was not spelled with a capital “A.”
“The language in the email would lead us to believe that this is not a jihadist initiative,” he said. ” … That would be incredible to think that any jihadist would not spell Allah with a capital ‘A.’”