HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- The Huntsville Police Department confirms that it has received reports from several area businesses today that have been threatened via email.
Investigators tell us the bomb threat emails are demanding Bitcoin payments – and pledge to follow through on the threats if the demands aren’t met.
Huntsville police tweeted that they verified the threats were traced back to an IP address in Russia.
Huntsville police did not say what businesses were targeted, but WHNT spoke with a Guntersville woman who said she and her mother were evacuated from Maynor and Mitchell Eye Center on Memorial Parkway near Airport Road. The threat was made toward another business in the building. The woman said everyone was outside for about 45 minutes while police checked the building.
Police Chief Jamie Smith tells us a business in Albertville received an email that there was a bomb in the building and also referenced bitcoins. Police responded and determined the threat to be false. Smith says his department made sure the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency was aware.
Police Chief Kevin Smith in Rainsville also tells us a business in his area experienced a similar situation.
The threats are apparently being made across the U.S. Thursday with both businesses and schools being targeted. CNN reports that it's unclear if the threats, which have also been received in San Francisco, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Miami, Washington, DC, are connected. The FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said they are aware of the threats and are working with law enforcement to provide assistance.
"As always, we encourage the public to remain vigilant and to promptly report suspicious activities which could represent a threat to public safety," the FBI said.
The Huntsville Police Department advises anyone who receives such a threat to contact the department at (256) 722-7100.