At least 17 state capitol buildings were searched for bombs after officials received bomb threats that the Federal Bureau of Investigation said were hoaxes.
Staffers and visitors were ushered out of capitol buildings in Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi and Montana, according to public reports. Sources told Pluribus News that South Carolina’s capitol was briefly evacuated.
State police searched Rhode Island’s capitol building before working hours. Officials in Wyoming, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Missouri, Utah and Maryland also received threats, but those capitol buildings did not close.
“Earlier this morning, the Connecticut State Capitol Police received complaints from numerous employees about a suspicious email that was received,” Connecticut State Capitol Police Officer Scott Driscoll wrote to legislative staffers. “The email, which apparently was sent to numerous states, claimed to have placed multiple explosives in the Capitol Building.”
A search of the Connecticut building and its grounds turned up nothing suspicious.
In Hawaii, the threat came in before business hours. A House of Representatives spokeswoman said in an email that the building was reopened by 9:45 a.m. after a security sweep.
Michigan State Police said on X, formerly Twitter, that a similar search in Lansing turned up nothing. Staff were allowed back into the building around noon, though the building remained closed to the public.
Most state legislatures have not yet returned to session, but the Mississippi Senate delayed morning meetings after receiving the threatening email. Oral arguments before the Minnesota Supreme Court were moved to different chambers, the Associated Press reported.
In a statement also reported by the AP, the FBI said it was aware of what it called a hoax bomb threat, but said it had “no information to indicate a specific and credible threat.”
The hoax threats come just days after public officials from across the country reported being subjected to so-called “swatting,” hoaxes in which someone reports a shooting or attack that leads to a police response. U.S. Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Reps. Brandon Williams (R-N.Y.) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows were among the victims.