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

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

Delta City Hall. (James Smith photo)
Harvie, Kruger to represent Delta on Metro Vancouver board

Delta reps to sit on 11 of 16 standing committees and task forces

Surrey-raised actor Michael Coleman in some of the roles he’s played since the mid-1990s. (submitted photo)
Chat with Robin Williams helped send Surrey’s Coleman into world of acting

‘For me, it was a game-changer,’ says co-founder of Story Institute acting school

Surrey City Hall. (File photo)
OUR VIEW: Surrey’s public hearings are for being heard

Surrey public hearings of late have been devolving into something less than intended

Friends and family of Paul Prestbakmo (from left: Barbara Calder, Leah Charles, Jimmy Slater, Angela Prestbakmo and Liz Prestbakmo) gather outside Surrey Provincial Court on Tuesday (Jan. 26, 2021). (Tracy Holmes photo)
South Surrey murder victim stabbed 42 times: pathologist

RCMP digital-evidence specialist also among witnesses

Dr. Penny Ballem, a former deputy health minister, discusses her role in leading B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program, at the B.C. legislature, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. holds steady with 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday

14 deaths, no new outbreaks in the health care system

SAR crews worked late into the night Tuesday to rescue an injured snowboarder in North Vancouver. (Facebook/North Shore Rescue)
Complicated, dangerous rescue saves man in avalanche near Cypress Mountain

North Shore SAR team braves considerable conditions to reach injured snowboarder

A Cessna 170 airplane similar to the one pictured above is reported to be missing off the waters between Victoria and Washington State. Twitter photo/USCG
UPDATE: No sign of small plane that went down in waters south of Vancouver Island

Searchers out on both sides of border between Victoria and Port Angeles

In this undated image made from a video taken by the Duke of Sussex and posted on @SaveChildrenUK by the Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, shows the Duchess of Sussex reading the book “Duck! Rabbit!” to their son Archie who celebrates his first birthday on Wednesday May 6, 2020. The Canadian Paediatric Society is reminding families that the process of raising a reader starts from birth. (Duke of Sussex/@SaveChildrenUK)
Canadian Paediatric Society says raising a reader starts from birth

CPS says literacy is one of the strongest predictors of lifelong health outcomes

Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion Minister Carla Qualtrough responds to a question during a news conference Thursday August 20, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Easing rules for parental benefits created inequities among parents, documents say

Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough’s office says the government will make any necessary changes

People walk along a pedestrianized zone of Sainte-Catherine street in Montreal, Monday, May 18, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. Newly released statistics point to a major drop in police-recorded crime during the first eight months of the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Crime down in first 8 months of pandemic, but mental health calls rise: StatCan

The agency says violent crimes such as assault dropped significantly

Cowichan Tribes chief Squtxulenhuw (William Seymour) confirmed the first death in the First Nations community from COVID-19. (File photo)
Cowichan Tribes confirms 1st death amid growing COVID-19 outbreak

Shelter-in-place order has been extended to Feb. 5

(Pixabay)
B.C. teacher gets 1 day suspension after ‘aggressively’ throwing dumbbell at student

Documents show the weight would have hit the student if they didn’t catch it

This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which cause COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, NIAID-RML
B.C. ramping up screening for faster-spreading COVID-19 ‘variants of concern’

B.C. has sequenced about 11,000 COVID-positive samples since last February

Most Read