Multiple state Capitol buildings were temporarily shut down and evacuated Wednesday due to hoax bomb threats.
“Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi and Montana were among the states that evacuated statehouse offices or buildings,” the Associated Press reports.
No explosives were found at any of the locations.
Bomb threats at five state capitols trigger evacuations, no explosives found | Just The News https://t.co/8MmRXgY0GG
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A copy of an emailed threat obtained by CNN showed government offices in at least 23 states listed as recipients. The sender claimed to have placed explosives inside “your state Capitol,” although no specific state was mentioned in the email. It’s not clear if other email threats were sent.
The threat affected Capitol proceedings in Kentucky, Mississippi, Georgia, Connecticut, Michigan and Minnesota. No states have reported finding any threatening items in those buildings.
“While everyone is safe, (Kentucky State Police) has asked everyone to evacuate the state Capitol and is investigating a threat received by the Secretary of State’s Office,” Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said on X.
“The Mississippi Department of Public Safety has successfully cleared the Mississippi State Capitol,” a spokesperson said in a statement. “The building was thoroughly searched, and no explosives or suspicious equipment were found.” State Sen. Brice Wiggins said on social media, “Sick individuals, who need to be prosecuted, will not stop us from doing our jobs.”
“Starting 2024 with a bomb threat at the Georgia State Capitol,” posted Gabriel Sterling, the chief operating officer for the Georgia Secretary of State.
“The Sec. of State’s capitol staff delayed their arrival to the GA Capitol until roughly 45 minutes later when they received the official ‘All Clear’ from the State Police,” said Secretary of State spokesperson Mike Hassinger told CNN.
The FBI issued a statement saying they were aware of the incidents.
NEW: Several state capitol buildings across the United States evacuated over multiple bomb threats, according to officials, one of whom said a “mass email” was responsible for triggering the security response
— Insider Paper (@TheInsiderPaper) January 3, 2024
“The FBI takes hoax threats very seriously because it puts innocent people at risk,” the agency said in a statement.
“While we have no information to indicate a specific and credible threat, we will continue to work with our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners to gather, share, and act upon threat information as it comes to our attention. We urge the public to remain vigilant, and report any and all suspicious activity and/or individuals to law enforcement immediately,” the bureau added.
From the Associated Press:
The “mass email” warned of multiple explosives that would go off in a few hours.
Public safety officials locked down the Mississippi Capitol on the second day of the legislative session and the state Senate delayed its morning meeting. The building was evacuated and bomb-sniffing dogs circled before an all-clear was given.Advertisement
“This is an ongoing investigation and there is no further threat to the Capitol or surrounding buildings,” said Bailey Martin, a spokesperson for the Mississippi Department of Public Safety.
The closures were brief and disruptions minimal in most states.
Montana’s Capitol building reopened within two hours after a sweep of the building was completed and the threat was found not to be credible, said Megan Grotzke, spokesperson for the Department of Administration.
In Minnesota, oral arguments at the state Supreme Court inside the Capitol were interrupted, but were moved to other courtrooms in the Minnesota Judicial Center, said Kyle Christopherson, a spokesperson for the Minnesota Judicial Branch.
Other states — including Wyoming, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Missouri and Maryland — received threats, but didn’t close.