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article imageWave of bomb threat calls hit schools across UK and U.S.

By Karen Graham     May 24, 2016 in World
Robocall bomb threats called in across the United Kingdom and the U.S. disrupted classes for thousands of students on Monday, forcing buildings to be locked down and many schools to close.
It appeared to be a coordinated series of robocall threats, claiming a bomb was on site, and in the UK, some calls saying "the shrapnel will take children's heads off."
In the UK, 26 schools across the country were targeted, according to the Daily Mail, disrupting many students who were preparing to sit their GCSE exams. Schools reported many of the calls appeared to be recorded, with an "American-sounding voice," sometimes just saying the call was a bomb threat while others went into more detail, describing what the bomb would do to the children.
In the U.S., 21 states, including Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Maryland, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming received the automated bomb threats. As many as 10 schools in some states received the bomb threats, reports NBC News.
In both countries, bomb threats are taken very seriously, even when the calls are a hoax. The whole purpose of using computer technology with these types of calls is to generate a big response from law enforcement and to disrupt the lives of literally thousands of people.
Panicked parents in both countries responded just like the perpetrators of the calls wanted them to do, leaving work or appointments, disrupting life for everyone, young and old. The hoax calls are known as "swatting," making a hoax call to 9-1-1 to draw a response from law enforcement, usually a SWAT team.
Swatting is a serious crime in the U.S., and can sometimes have dangerous consequences. Anyone convicted of swatting can get a prison term. “The FBI looks at these crimes as a public safety issue,” said Kevin Kolbye, an assistant special agent in charge in the FBI's Dallas Division. “It’s only a matter of time before somebody gets seriously injured as a result of one of these incidents.”
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