Emailed bomb threat closes NWC, some facilities in state

Posted

Northwest College closed its campus and canceled all classes and events for today (Thursday) after someone sent an email that threatened government buildings across the state.

In an early afternoon news release, the Wyoming Office of Homeland Security said that, on Thursday morning, it had "received notice of an anonymous email with threats made against state facilities, schools statewide and the Cheyenne Regional Airport. Several other states have received similar emails."

"There's nothing to indicate it's a credible threat," said Powell Police Chief Roy Eckerdt, who got a chance to review the email.

An image of the message obtained by Sweetwater Now indicates someone identifying their self as "Archangel Michael" submitted it through a contact form on the state of Wyoming website.

"TODAY WYOMING WILL BE TURNED TO DUST!" the sender claimed. They wrote, also in all caps, that there were:

• 50 pipe bombs across official buildings in Cheyenne;

• 600 pipe bombs hidden in "multiple big cities and official government buildings in Wyoming";

• 50 sets of explosives at the Cheyenne airport;

• 500 pounds of explosives hidden in 40 Wyoming schools -- "and 10 schools have had their fire sprinkler systems filled with napalm";

• and a "MOAB weapon of mass destruction thermobaric bomb" hidden in one of Wyoming's three most densely populated places

"The Wyoming Office of Homeland Security has shared this email information with the appropriate authorities," said Wyoming Office of Homeland Security spokeswoman Kelly Ruiz. "If any information develops validating the threat, the appropriate parties will be immediately notified."

Wyoming Wyoming College in Rock Springs and Eastern Wyoming College in Torrington also decided to close their campuses and cancel their Thursday classes. NWC officials said some of Wyoming's community colleges are remaining open and monitoring their buildings; NWC announced its closure at 12:24 p.m.

“Employees should leave the campus immediately,” NWC said on its website. The college told resident students to go to their respective residence halls, saying protective sweeps of those buildings and the DeWitt Student Center were underway. The college initially said dinner would be served in the residence halls, but later reversed course and said the student center would be open for dinner. A lockdown of the residence halls was lifted around 1:25 p.m.

NWC said classes at the college's main campus and in Cody would resume as normal on Friday.

Park County School District No. 1 is on alert and in contact with local law enforcement and Homeland Security, said Superintendent Kevin Mitchell. The Powell school district is not putting its buildings on lockdown at this time. Mitchell said the district will continue to assess the situation.

"We have been notified by the Wyoming Department of Education that there is no imminent danger to anyone as a result of the anonymous bomb threat reported earlier today. All schools will complete the school day as usual," Mitchell said in an afternoon message to parents. "Busses will run on their normal schedules. Activities have not been cancelled. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we worked through this issue with very limited information."

Cody Police Department spokesman John Harris released a statement saying that, as a general precaution, the department contacted Park County School District No. 6 and other public and government facilities in the area about the bomb threats.

"The Cody Police Department has not received any information indicating there is an immediate threat or danger in our area," Harris said, adding, "We would like to remind the public to report any suspicious activity or behavior to your local law enforcement agencies."

He said the Department of Homeland Security and other state and federal agencies are investigating the threats.

Comments