Bomb threats were called into five different schools and public buildings in five different New Jersey towns within a 20-minute period Wednesday afternoon, and authorities are looking into whether they're connected to similar threats made in the Boston area an hour earlier, law enforcement sources say.
The threats in New Jersey were called in to the Dwight Morrow High School in Englewood, Fort Lee High School, Garfield High School and the Garfield police station, the Leonia Board of Education office inside the high school, and Hackensack High School, all in Bergen County, officials said.
The schools were evacuated and some dismissed students early as state and Bergen police responded and bomb squads were deployed, officials said.
The phone threats came so quickly that the Bergen County bomb squad requested assistance from the state police and neighboring Morris County's canine unit, according to the Bergen bomb squad commander.
Bomb technicians secured the schools, then swept and cleared each of them, the commander said.
While no explosives were found in any of the buildings, Leonia Police Chief Tom Rowe said "it's terrorizing young children. It's outright wrong,"
A law enforcement source said five similar bomb threats were called into five Massachusetts schools, all in Boston or the Boston area, an hour before the string of New Jersey threats.
Authorities are attempting to identify the caller or callers to determine whether they are the same person.
The county prosecutor's office, the Joint Terrorism Task Force, the FBI, along with county, state and town police are all investigating.