Sunday, April 15, 2012

Unconfirmed Bomb Threats Overnight

Last night I posted in a comment regarding several unconfirmed bomb threats to Bellefied Towers, Bellefield Hall, and the Cathedral of Learning.

This is all according to a Reddit thread and the Pitt Police scanner.  The Pitt Bomb Threats Twitter feed is also reporting the story.  No ENS notification was sent out, but enough first and second hand witnesses have come forward to suggest that the threats did indeed occur, and the University and police did indeed react.

As commenters have pointed out both here and on Reddit, those three buildings were locked and mostly empty at this time of day on the weekend, which may be why no ENS alert was sent out.  Apparently, the builders were locked down and swept, but those inside were asked to sit tight until they were cleared.

What does this mean for the University's response to new threats?  Frick Fine Arts and the Music Hall both received threats whilst empty previously on April 4th, spawning an ENS alert, so the precedent for an alert anyway is there.  Does this represent a new response by the authorities in reaction to threats, or did they just not feel it was worth sending an ENS for mostly empty buildings?

I want to repeat that these threats, as of the writing of this post, remain unconfirmed officially.  So I have not updated the threat count.  Someone will update this post if more details develop.

UPDATE: On the topic of University response, here is an audio interview with a "terrorism expert" from KDKA worth a listen.

INVESTIGATION UPDATE: The Pitt Bomb Threats Twitter feed has linked to a press release put out by the Social Democrats, USA on behalf of the couple who were subpoenaed a few days ago (see the last blog update for more details).  It details the events surrounding the subpoenaing of the couple and calls the University "fascists", naming the organization as the best party  "to force the University of Pittsburgh to abide by the ordinances of the City of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County."  It should be noted that one member of the couple is the secretary of this organization, and the other is the acting director. 

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