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FBI joins police to investigate school bomb threats

The FBI and local police departments are jointly searching for those responsible for sending threatening e-mails that led to the abrupt closure of high schools in several Massachusetts communities within the past two weeks, officials said.

The threats have led to evacuations or closures at high schools in Franklin, Bedford, Winchester, Swampscott, and Westwood. Swampscott police have charged a 17-year-old student in connection with the threat against their school.

But the search for the authors of the threats — which has also led to the closing of schools in Bedford, N.H., and Sandy Hook, Conn. — is not over, officials said.


“All jurisdictions that have been victimized are working together to bring a resolution to the cases,” said Chief Robert Bongiorno of the Bedford Police Department in Massachusetts. “We will continue to work with our partners on the federal, state, and local levels.”

Detective Lieutenant Scott Jones, also of Bedford, said local police departments have compared the nature of the threats and the information gathered during the agencies’ independent investigations.

Jones added that the FBI is the “lead investigating agency because of the way the threat has been communicated,” apparently across state lines.

Greg Comcowich, a spokesman for the Boston bureau of the FBI, confirmed that the bureau is assisting local police.

“We are working with the police departments to try to help identify the sender of the e-mail messages,” Comcowich said. “Many police departments have the same skill sets we do, but if it’s crossing state lines . . . we just help facilitate it.”

The Bedford school system received its threat last week, the same day that Bedford, N.H., was targeted.

Arlington Police Chief Frederick Ryan said his town had not been targeted. But, he said, he and other leaders of municipal forces are comparing notes.

“There’s been a real effort to collaborate on all levels of law enforcement,’’ he said. “The chiefs throughout the region are connected and sort of have been given situational awareness briefs. . . . There is a heightened state of awareness.’’


Despite the attention the issue is getting, Ryan emphasized that, so far, nothing dangerous has been uncovered.

“All the threats that have come in have been determined to be low-level, low-credibility threats,’’ Ryan said.


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Bedford High School evacuated due to e-mail threat

Franklin High briefly evacuated after threatening e-mail