Tag Archives: terrorism

Hysteria Grips US Malls as Thousands Evacuated in Multiple Bomb Scares

Saturday was a crazy day at the mall in America as thousands of Christmas shoppers were evacuated in light of bomb and other threats of violence.

The evacuations come on the heels of a highly publicized terrorist attack in San Bernardino in which 14 were killed and over 20 people injured.

At the outdoor Largo Mall near Tampa, Florida 500 people were told to leave after an empty suitcase caused concern. In Hackensack, New Jersey the two-floor Riverside Mall was evacuated when someone noticed a bomb threat written on a bathroom wall. Across the country in New Mexico, at the Animas Valley Mall in Farmington, another restroom message caused the police to evacuate and close the mall as they searched for the threat. On San Francisco’s iconic Embarcadero an ownerless backpack sent the police into suspicious mode, clearing the area and carefully examining the lone backpack for bombs or other threats.

No bombs or other threats were found in any of these incidents. The disruption and delays caused by the threats did interrupt the smooth flow of commerce on what was one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

Security Up in Many Locales in the US

Following the terror attacks in Paris last week which left 129 people dead and hundreds wounded, security in the United States has been heightened in many locations.

Times Square in New York, French-owned sites in Washington DC, and the French consulates in Boston and New York all received stepped up armed presence. However, many other popular meeting places for people did not boost security, such as the giant Mall of America in Minnesota.

Sports arenas also went to high alert in response to the attack on the soccer stadium in Paris. At the crowded football game between the Naval Academy and Southern Methodist there were guards on duty to randomly screen people with metal detectors. Attendees were requested to open their overcoats as they entered the Navy-Marine Corp Memorial Stadium. Similar security measures are expected to be applied at the Rose Bowl Stadium for the game between UCLA and Washington State.

After briefings between NFL officials and the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI it was decided to increase security inside and outside stadiums. Fans were told not to bring bags to the games.

One unnamed official told the Associated Press that there were no current credible threats to US security. However, intelligence officials have detected increased ‘chatter’ promoting attacks on the US.