Crime

Whatcom County wasn’t left out of Thursday’s string of hoax email bomb threats

Bomb threat forces evacuation of Thurston County campus

The Thurston County campus was evacuated Thursday morning, Dec. 13, 2018, due to a bomb threat, according to Thurston County Manager Ramiro Chavez. The threat was received via email about 10:30 a.m.
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The Thurston County campus was evacuated Thursday morning, Dec. 13, 2018, due to a bomb threat, according to Thurston County Manager Ramiro Chavez. The threat was received via email about 10:30 a.m.

Bellingham was not left out of a string of hoax bomb threats sent by email on Thursday to a number of businesses and government institutions across the United States and Canada.

According to information provided by Bellingham Police Lt. Claudia Murphy in an email Friday to The Bellingham Herald, a similar email was directed to the Port of Bellingham properties, though not to anyone specific. Bellingham Police were notified of the threat at 10:15 a.m., according to the department’s log.

“It was the typical hoax,” Murphy told The Herald, “where the email is sent with the threat, and if a monetary (electronic) penalty paid, the bomb would be removed.”

In addition to notifying the police, the Port sent senior staff and port security to the site, Port Public Affairs Administrator Mike Hogan told The Bellingham Herald in an email Monday.

“The site was swept by both Port and police including a police dog,” Hogan said. “The site was cleared later the same day and is open for business.”

Murphy said the threat to the Port was very similar to the ones sent to other companies and institutions around the country, even containing the same wording. Hogan said the Port was told by the FBI that the email threat was sent to thousands of other recipients.

According to a McClatchy story on Thursday’s incidents, multiple police departments said that there was no proof that any of the threats were credible.

According to a story by The Olympian, the Thurston County Courthouse was evacuated Thursday morning after the county received a similar threat, while KOMO News reported that the University of Washington and several businesses in Bellevue also received threats.

David Rasbach joined The Bellingham Herald in 2005 and now covers breaking news. He has been an editor and writer in several western states since 1994.

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