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Bomb threats emailed to multiple locations across the country, including Southeast Wisconsin

Posted at 3:02 PM, Dec 13, 2018

(CNN) -- Dozens of institutions across the country received email threats Thursday afternoon, prompting evacuations and sweeps of buildings.

In Southeast Wisconsin, threats have been reported in Milwaukee, Waukesha and Ozaukee Counties so far.

Milwaukee Police said in a statement:

"The Milwaukee Police Department’s Fusion Division is currently investigating an influx of email-style bomb threats that have been sent to private business across the city. MPD takes all bomb threats seriously. At this time we cannot confirm that these are linked to the email bomb threats occurring around the U.S.; however, these threats are actively being investigated. If you receive any of these emails, please contact authorities immediately."

At least one case has been confirmed in the city of Milwaukee, and accross all of Southeast Wisconsin.

The Waukesha County Sheriff’s Office reports several businesses received the bomb threat email, and in Ozaukee County one business in Cedarburg has received a similar threat.

In Dodge County, two cases have been reported, as well as in Sheboygan County.

So far no reported have been made in Washington County. TODAY'S TMJ4 has not heard back from Racine County.

The Wisconsin Statewide Intelligence Center is currently investigating the threats, but is unaware of any legitimate events.

At this time it unclear if the threats -- which have been received at locations throughout San Francisco, at the University of Washington in Seattle, and at Penn State University in Pennsylvania, among other places -- are connected. The FBI said it is aware of the threats and is 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.

In Seattle, UW noted in a campus-wide alert that the FBI had "advised that the email is not a credible threat."

The university concluded sweeps of possibly affected buildings.

The Thurston County Courthouse in Olympia, Washington and the Park Record newspaper in Park City, Utah also received similarly threatening emails. People have been allowed back inside buildings at those locations, according to tweets on their verified Twitter accounts.

In California, the Riverside Sheriff's Office had "an influx of email threats" and is taking them seriously, although no threat has been substantiated.

The San Francisco Police Department responded to reports of bomb threats at locations throughout the city.

"We have received information that several other cities across the United States have received similar threats," police said.

Pennsylvania State Police are "investigating some bomb threats in the eastern part of the state," a spokesman for the department tells CNN.

"Penn State University Police, in conjunction with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, is investigating a message received by individuals in multiple locations on campus and across the state," the university said in a statement. "Police say this does not appear to be a legitimate threat, however, an investigation is ongoing."

University police later said the threat appears to be a hoax.

Email threats have also been received in Canada.

Vancouver Police Department Sgt. Jason Robillard tells CNN that businesses have received threats. He is not aware of any buildings that have evacuated.

The Chicago Police Department received 15 to 20 reports of emailed threats in the past few hours, according to Officer Jennifer Bryk.

Director of Communications Anthony Guglielmi tweeted, "#ChicagoPolice are working with federal partners on the investigation, and at this time there is no elevated threat level for the city of Chicago."

Threats were also emailed to locations in New York City and Atlanta; the Charlotte News & Observer and the Raleigh News & Observer newspapers in North Carolina; and three sites in Miami.

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