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Congressman: LA schools bomb threat likely a hoax

LOS ANGELES - All Los Angeles public schools were shut down on Tuesday following a bomb threat. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) declared later in the afternoon that the threat on L.A. Unified School District campuses was likely a hoax. "While we con...

LOS ANGELES - All Los Angeles public schools were shut down on Tuesday following a bomb threat.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) declared later in the afternoon that the threat on L.A. Unified School District campuses was likely a hoax.

"While we continue to gather information about the threat made against the Los Angeles and New York School Departments, the preliminary assessment is that it was a hoax or something designed to disrupt school districts in large cities," Schiff, who is on the House Intelligence Committee, said. "The investigation is ongoing as to where the threat originated from and who was responsible."

The threat, initially described as "credible" and "rare," was received electronically and directed at multiple schools.

The email has since been traced to an IP address in Frankfurt, Germany, Rep. Mike McCaul (R-TX), House Homeland Security Committee chairman, told MSNBC's Brian Williams. However, law enforcement sources said the person could have masked his/her location.

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"There has been some initial reporting that it may have come from an IP address out of Germany. We are doing that attribution now back to possibly Europe, where the source of this threat may have come from," McCaul said. "[S]o we don't, again, know the source of the threat itself or how credible, but we do know that the terrorists have looked at exploiting this means of social media as a device to shut things down."

LAUSD Superintendent Ramon Cortines said Tuesday morning that schools will be closed until police search buildings to ensure the district's 900-plus campuses and 187 public charter schools were safe.

"A threat had been made to not one school, but many schools in this district," Cortines said. "Some of the details talked about backpacks and other packages. After talking with him, also with the board president, I made a decision to close all of the schools."

Students who already arrived at school are being supervised until parents can pick them up, while buses that had taken children to school early were turned around.

With more than 640,000 students between kindergarten and 12th grade, LAUSD is the nation's second-largest school district.

The bomb scare comes less than two weeks after a terrorist attack in San Bernardino left 14 dead and 22 others wounded. In an eerie coincidence, Monday marked the third anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn.

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