New York City public schools received bomb threats on Monday, but didn’t close down any campuses, dismissing the email threats that caused the shutdown of all LAUSD schools as a hoax from a possible fan of the Showtime drama “Homeland.”
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton noted that the author of the viral threats is most likely a “Homeland” viewer.
“The instigator of the threat may be a ‘Homeland’ fan,” Bratton told reporters. “Basically, watching ‘Homeland’ episodes that it mirrors.”
Although the email threat has been traced to an IP address in Frankfurt, Germany, the sender could have masked his/her location.
“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,” Mike McCaul (R-TX), House Homeland Security Committee chairman, told MSNBC’s Brian Williams. “[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.”
The current fifth season of “Homeland” is set in Germany and tackles the topic of cyber-terrorism.
Although no episodes deal with threats to a school district, the show is no stranger to news headlines, with plot lines often drawing on real world events. It was initially reported that the 2012 Benghazi attack, when Islamic militants attacked the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, was triggered by an anti-Muslim YouTube video.
In season four of “Homeland,” Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) orders a drone strike that mistakenly kills more than 40 people attending a Pakistani wedding. After a video from the wedding is uploaded on YouTube, a “spontaneous” protest leads to the death of Pakistani station chief Sandy Bachman (Corey Stoll).
Showtime declined to comment for this article.