No evidence school threats from reported Russian terrorist account are credible, FBI says

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Threats emailed to multiple schools in Ohio by an account claiming to be a Russian terrorist do not appear to be credible, the FBI said Monday.

Area schools opened today, a day after many received a threatening email similar to one received by multiple schools in Texas last week.

The email threat is under investigation by the FBI and the Joint Terrorism Task Force, according to area police and sheriff departments. Numerous sheriff and police departments in the region were alerted Sunday to the email threat targeting multiple schools throughout the state.

“FBI Cincinnati is aware of an email message circulating in Ohio regarding threats to school buildings,” said Todd Lindgren, public affairs specialist for the FBI in Cincinnati. “While the FBI has 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 all suspicious activity to law enforcement immediately.”

A spokesperson from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation said the agency has not been requested to investigate the threats by any local jurisdictions.

The email threats were disseminated to a number of schools.

“As of now, there is no evidence supporting the credibility of the threats and no imminent danger has been identified for any of the schools in our area. Nevertheless, the situation is being treated with the utmost seriousness, and all necessary precautions are being taken to ensure the safety of students, faculty, and staff,” the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office said.

Montgomery County Sheriff Rob Streck said in a social post, “The safety and security of our community’s educational institutions are of utmost importance. We are working closely with our federal and local partners to thoroughly investigate these email threats and ensure the safety of our schools.”

“Parents, students, and school staff are encouraged to stay informed through official channels, including updates from local law enforcement agencies and school authorities. We urge members of the community to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activities or information related to these threats to their local police department.”

Schools in Texas received a similar threat on Friday and law enforcement investigated and found the threat was not imminent.

The rambling email threat in part said: “Hello there, my name is Ivan Pichugin I am a owner of a Russian terrorist organization...I would read this message as carefully as I can, my partners have planted multiple explosives in your American school buildings, we do not care if you believe this or not, we are tired of the Ukrainian support you guys have been giving them...

It’s not clear which school districts in the area received the threatening email, but emails were sent by Hamilton, Huber Heights, Mad River, Springboro, Beavercreek, Kettering, Oakwood, Northwestern and Greenville school districts warning parents.

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