A VARIETY OF SOPHISTICATED THREATS (IEDs, BIO-CHEM) SENT VIA MULTIPLE
EMAILS WITH THE FBI NOT IMMEDIATELY ABLE TO IDENTIFY THE SOURCE...?
For a two week period, Orange High School has received a number of cyber threats sent via email (first threat email on Nov 6) and to local television stations. Initially the school was shutdown for a few days and then re-opened and the threats continued. These protracted threats are serious and involve a variety of bomb threats including cell phone bombs, backpack bombs, and car bombs. The situation was further complicated by information put out on social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) were it can be difficult to distinguish between gossip, information, and fact. The school and local police have contacted the FBI who have collectively opened a joint (state & federal) investigation. These email originated threats at present have been unable to be exploited by the FBI due to the high tech software used by the unidentified perpetrators. The full resources of the FBI to include their Behavioral Science Unit are involved. The Orange School District and Pepper Pike Police Dept. held a joint presentation with the FBI at a school board meeting with numerous parents in attendance. The school & Pepper Pike PD formulated a security strategy to address the serious threats involving limitations on student cell phones, student backpacks, bio-chemical agents, and single door entrance with accompanying searches. There was an increased police presence at the school and bomb searches by bomb detection dogs. There was also restrictions on students not being able to leave class without an adult escort. The duration and active measures fluctuated based on the changing threats over the course of the two weeks.
FBI Briefing at the Orange District School Board:
The School posted a special page on their website as an information forum for students and parents. The credibility of the threat appears to be diminishing, but due to the seriousness of the threats the authorities are taking no chances. Since the emails are considered evidence in the federal investigation, the contents cannot be directly released to the parents.
While we hope this is a hoax or veiled threat resulting in a future arrest, this ongoing incident shows how unprepared our educational institutions are with no federal strategy towards school preparedness. Imagine if any one of these threats actually occurred, how would we be looking at this differently?