Tuesday, December 15, 2015


I suppose it wasn't a bad decision to close every public school in Los Angeles today -- overabundance of caution and all that -- but from what I'm reading about the similar threat received in New York, the decision to keep schools open here was the right one, even though it will be attacked by frightened civilians and opportunistic right-wing haters of Mayor Bill de Blasio.

First, L.A.:
All Los Angeles Unified School District campuses were closed Tuesday until further notice after LAUSD received a "credible" threat to all schools, according to district officials and police.

The threat against the nation's second largest school district was sent via email to a school board member Monday evening and was traced back to an IP address in Frankfurt, Germany, according to spokeswoman Ellen Morgan....

The implied threat was "explosive devices," "assault rifles" and "machine pistols," according to Beck.

Mayor Eric Garcetti, speaking at the same news conference as the police chief, added that the message included a number of forms of violence and weapons, and stated that "things were already in place to bring that violence about."
But now let's look at what officials in New York are saying:
A threatening email sent to the New York City school superintendent warned that every school in the city would be attacked with pressure cooker bombs, nerve gas agents, machine pistols and machine guns.

The email was sent early Tuesday and said the writer and "138 comrades" would carry out the attack. It said, "The students at every school in the New York City school district will be massacred, mercilessly. And there is nothing you can do to stop it."

The anonymous writer claimed to be a student at a district high school who had been bullied.
The writer and "138 comrades" would attack every school in the system? The New York public school system has more than 1,800 schools. Given the slowness of traffic here and the frequent creakiness of public transit, I think 139 people would have trouble even visiting all 1,800-plus schools in one day, much less attacking every one.

And de Blasio and police commissioner Bill Bratton say that the threat in New York was all but identical to the one in L.A.:
The threat to New York schools was sent via email to an Education Department official around 5 a.m. on Tuesday, said a law enforcement official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss details of the threat. The official said that the emails appeared to have been routed through the same country, Germany, and come from the same person.

Stephen Davis, the top spokesman for the New York Police Department, said: “After an analysis, we have determined that the emails were the exact same wording with the exception of putting in the cities’ names and changing the number of people who were supposed to be participating in it,” meaning the threatened attack on schools. “Other than that,” he said, “it was a cut and paste job.”
If it was "the exact same wording," then the writer (who also mentioned jihad) was claiming to have been a bullied ex-student from L.A. as well as a bullied ex-student from New York.

What's more, it's been reported that the letter went to other cities as well:
New York City officials say they and many cities across the country received the same threat that closed the Los Angeles school system.

Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters Tuesday that the threat came in the form of a “generic” email and that New York officials quickly concluded that it wasn’t credible.
New York City has 1,800 schools. L.A. has 900, plus 187 charter schools.

I've watched a lot of Hollywood movies and I know that terrorists in movies are capable of mind-boggling levels of coordination. But real terrorists aren't Heath Ledger as the Joker. They aren't Kevin Spacey in Seven or Dennis Hopper in Speed.

Real terrorists can attack multiple targets at once -- see 9/11 or the recent Paris attacks -- but not hundreds. And they don't have superpowers, so 139 people can't attack 1,800 schools at once.

And if they're going to do it, why telegraph it? That's never been the ISIS-era M.O. Right-wingers will say, "Why not telegraph it? New York and L.A. are gun-free zones, aren't they?" Except that New York has 34,500 cops. Why give the cops here a head start?

The right choice was made in New York. A lot of people will never believe that, but I give Bratton and de Blasio credit for a well-reasoned decision.


Update from Gawker: "Bicoastal School Bomb Threats Were Sent From an 8Chan-Linked 'Cockmail' Service."


Victor said...

This is the new world here in America.
Something many countries have faced for decades - if not longer.
What's a real threat, what's an aspirational threat - meant only to scare, and throw sand in some gears - and what's some stupid kid, wanting to avoid some consequence(s)?

NY different the right thing.
But it sounds like they did their evaluation after the LA threat, and that city made its decision, so it might have made it easier - though, based on the time zone differences, I'm not sure how that might work.

I'll have to read the story, to find out.

Joey Blau said...

I think 139 people would have trouble even visiting all 1,800-plus schools in one day, much less attacking every one.


Ten Bears said...

The "terrorists" win again, though I'm still trying to out just who the terrorists are. ISIS is as big of an overblown crock of shit as binLaden.

When did we become a nation of pussies?

Sweet Sue said...

Why can't you just say "a nation of cowards?"