Several state capitol buildings across the United States were evacuated Wednesday over multiple bomb threats, according to officials, one of whom said a “mass email” was responsible for triggering the security response.
No explosives or threatening items were found as police evacuated and swept the statehouses in Connecticut, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Montana following an apparent hoax threat, officials and local media reported.
“While everyone is safe, KSP (Kentucky State Police) has asked everyone to evacuate the state Capitol and is investigating a threat received by the Secretary of State’s Office,” Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear wrote on X, the former Twitter.
Michon Lindstrom, a spokesperson for Kentucky’s secretary of state, said the threat was in the form of a “mass email” sent out to multiple secretaries of state across the country, according to the Lexington Herald Leader, a local newspaper.
“I placed multiple explosives inside of your State Capitol. The explsoives (sic) are well hidden inside and they will go off in a few hours. I will make sure you all end up dead,” the email read.
The scare came three days before the anniversary of the January 6, 2021, insurrection at the US Capitol by Donald Trump supporters who launched a failed bid to stop certification of Joe Biden‘s 2020 election victory.
Officials from several states confirmed their capitols had also been targeted, including Michigan, where state police said that out of an abundance of caution the capitol building will remain closed for the day.
“Starting 2024 with a bomb threat at the Georgia State Capitol,” elections official Gabriel Sterling posted on X, saying soon afterward that police gave an all-clear.
“Do not jump to conclusions as to who is responsible,” Sterling said, addressing the threat against multiple capitols.
“There will be chaos agents sowing discord for 2024. They want to increase tensions. Don’t let them.”
US officials have warned of growing numbers of incidents aimed at government employees. Last month in an ABC News interview, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said there has been an “unprecedented rise in threats to public officials across the board.”