LOS ANGELES — The sender of an email that shut down every public school in Los Angeles for a day threatened to shoot up and bomb campuses with 32 jihadi accomplices, a source confirmed Wednesday to BuzzFeed News.
A Los Angeles school board official first saw the email around 10 p.m. Monday night, and after consulting with law enforcement, the school district decided around 6 a.m. Tuesday to close all of its more than 900 campuses — sending more than 640,000 students home for the day at a loss of $29 million in state funding. The district is asking for the money to be returned, citing emergency circumstances.
After 12 hours of investigation, Los Angeles authorities said the threat was not credible. Earlier in the day, California politicians as well as authorities in New York had called the email a hoax — pointing to the vague nature of the text, a failure to capitalize "Allah," and the fact that it came from an email service known as a meme sewer.
Vincent Canfield, who has hosted cock.li since 2013, told BuzzFeed News he had cooperated with investigators after receiving a subpoena. He described the people who abuse the service as "scum," while most cock.li addresses were used for legitimate purposes — from "shitposting" on message boards to paying utility bills.
“In general people just use it for E-mail like you’d use anything else," he said. "It just comes from a funny domain name.”
Here is the full text of the email threat:
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:
I am emailing you to inform you of the happenings on Tuesday, 12/15/15.
Something big is going down. Something very big. It will make national headlines. Perhaps, even international ones. You see, my last 4 years here at one of the district high schools has been absolute hell. Pure, unmitigated, agony. The bullying, the loneliness, the rejection… it is never-ending. And for what? Just because I’m ‘different’?
No. No more. I am a devout Muslim, and was once against violence, but I have teamed up with a local jihadist cell as it is the only way I’ll be able to accomplish my massacre the correct way. I would not be able to do it alone. Me, and my 32 comrades, will die tomorrow in the name of Allah. Every school in the L.A. Unified district is being targeted. We have bombs hidden in lockers already at several schools. They are strategically placed and are meant to crumble the foundations of the very buildings that monger so much hate and discrimination. They are pressure cooker bombs, hidden in backpacks around the schools. They are loaded with 20 lbs. of gunpowder, for maximum damage. They will be detonated via Cell Phone. Not only are there bombs, but there are nerve gas agents set to go off at a specific time: during lunch hour. To top it off, my brothers in Allah and I have Kalashnikov rifles, Glock 18 Machine pistols, and multiple handheld grenades. The students at every school in the L.A. Unified district will be massacred, mercilessly. And there is nothing you can do to stop it.
If you do end up trying to, by perhaps, beefing up security, or canceling classes for the day, it won’t matter. Your security will not be able to stop us. We are an army of Allah. If you cancel classes, the bombings will take place regardless, and we will bring our guns to the streets and offices of Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Bakersfield, and San Diego.
I wish you the best luck. It is time to pray to allah, as this may be your last day.
Claudia Koerner is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.
Contact Claudia Koerner at email@example.com.
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