Lawmaker details differences between NYC, LA school threats

Los Angeles-area students head back to school at the Edward R. Roybal Learning Center in Los Angeles on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Los Angeles-area students head back to school at the Edward R. Roybal Learning Center in Los Angeles on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

LOS ANGELES — Two similar emails threatening a large-scale jihadi attack at schools in Los Angeles and New York City contained two important differences that help explain why one city shut down more than 900 schools and the other dismissed it as a hoax, a California congressman said Wednesday.

A message sent to school officials in New York said 139 attackers would launch an assault with guns and bombs and all die in the name of Allah. The Los Angeles email mentioned 33 attackers, according to U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman, a former chairman of the House Subcommittee on Terrorism.

While it’s unlikely that 33 people could plan a coordinated single-day assault on the nation’s second-largest school district without drawing the attention of law enforcement, the idea that 139 people could do it in New York is downright “fanciful,” the California Democrat said.

“That is the biggest difference between these emails,” Sherman told The Associated Press. “Thirty-three was not terribly credible, but 139 is outlandish.”

The threat prompted the Los Angeles Unified School District to cancel classes Tuesday, sending the parents of 640,000 students scrambling. New York quickly dismissed the warning as a hoax, and its schools remained open.

In addition, both emails claimed to be written by students of the districts they were threatening, but the New York message had terminology that would not be used by someone familiar with that school system, Sherman said.

The Los Angeles email contained terminology that would be used by someone who knew the city’s schools, the congressman said.

There were signs that the threats were not coming from Islamic extremists. For instance, the Los Angeles email came from an address that includes an obscene word for a male body part, something a devout Muslim or an Islamic extremist claiming to be devout would not use, Sherman said.

Both emails also failed to capitalize “Allah” in one reference.CaliforniaEmail threatshoaxJihadi attackLos AngelesLos Angeles Unified School DistrictNew York

Just Posted

Cabernet sauvignon grapes sat in a container after being crushed at Smith-Madrone Winery in St. Helena. (Courtesy Smith-Madrone Winery)
San Francisco’s ‘Champagne problems’ — Wine industry suffers supply chain woes

‘Everywhere you turn, things that were easy are no longer easy’

Glasses behind the bar at LUNA in the Mission District on Friday, Oct. 15, 2021. Glassware is just one of the many things restaurants have had trouble keeping in stock as supply chain problems ripple outward. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
SF restaurants face product shortages and skyrocketing costs

‘The supply chain crisis has impacted us in almost every way imaginable’

A Giants fans hangs his head in disbelief after the Dodgers won the NLDS in a controversial finish to a tight Game 5. (Chris Victorio/Special to The Examiner)
Giants dream season ends at the hands of the Dodgers, 2-1

A masterful game comes down to the bottom of the ninth, and San Francisco came up short

<strong>Workers with Urban Alchemy and the Downtown Streets Team clean at Seventh and Market streets on Oct. 12. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins> </strong>
<ins></ins>
Why is it so hard to keep San Francisco’s streets clean?

Some blame bureaucracy, others say it’s the residents’ fault

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi — seen in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday — touted Congressional Democrats’ infrastructure bill in San Francisco on Thursday. (Stefani Reynolds/The New York Times)
Pelosi touts infrastructure bill as it nears finish line

Climate change, social safety net among major priorities of Democrats’ 10-year funding measure

Most Read