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Bomb Threat

Motivation and goals for making a bomb threat usually comes from one of two goals:

  • The Hoax Caller: The most frequent goal is to create an atmosphere of panic and anxiety, the idea being to disrupt normal activities or operations at the location where the explosive device is alleged to be placed or for the entire college.
  • The Credible Caller: The caller has a definite knowledge or believes that an explosive device has been or will be placed, and he or she wants to warn of the threat to minimize personal injuries or property damage. The caller may be the person placing the bomb or someone who has become aware of information they believe to be credible.

Bomb Threats may also be transmitted by letter or email. Regardless of the medium the threat; the receiver of that message should immediately call 911 and provide all the information possible.

The following is the information on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ Call Checklist for phone call bomb threats. If a phone threat is received, do not disconnect the call. Keep the caller on the line as long as possible and try to ascertain as much of the following information. If it is possible to transfer the call to 911, do so.

You should note:

  1. The time and date you received the call.

  2. The telephone number at which the call was received.

  3. The caller's exact wording of the threat.

Questions to Ask the Caller:

  1. When is the bomb going to explode?

  2. Where is it right now?

  3. What does it look like?

  4. What kind of bomb is it?

  5. What will cause it to explode?

  6. Did you place the bomb?

  7. Why?

  8. What is your address?

  9. What is your name?

Description of the Caller's Voice

Some good descriptors are calm, nasal, angry, stutter, raspy, lisp, excited, slow, rapid, soft, ragged, loud, laughing, crying, clearing throat, normal, disguised, deep breathing, distinct, accent, cracking, slurred, whispered, female, male, or familiar. If familiar, who did the caller sound like?

Background Sounds

Listen for street noises, factory machinery, aircraft noise, animal noises, public address system, music, clear static, house noises, television and other language.