The reports of bomb threats made against a number of Target locations across three states have finally been classified as hoax.
The Boardman and Niles Target was one of five Target stores in Ohio and Pennsylvania that received a bomb threat on Friday, according to Boardman police. The Boardman and Niles Police looked into the threat against Target.
To ascertain the veracity of the bomb threats, Boardman Police reportedly collaborated with the FBI and the Youngstown Bomb Squad, according to Chief Todd Werth. The Target was never in danger, according to Chief Werth, and it wasn’t evacuated.
Friday saw threats against a number of Target stores throughout Ohio, but they were all considered unsubstantiated. The FBI said it is still looking into this.
A guy claimed in an email to a Cleveland news outlet that he had planted bombs in five Target stores, including one in Monaca, since the shop had decided to stop selling Pride Month products after some employees had been threatened and displays had been thrown down.
The note — which was sent by someone named Alsan Akhmedov — reads in part, “Target is full of cowards who turned their back on the LGBT community and decided to cater to the homophobic right wing redneck bigots who protested and vandalized their store.”
It continues, “We won’t stand idly by as the far right continues to hunt us down. We are sending you a message, we placed a bomb in the following targets.” Four Targets in OH and one in PA were referenced … the Utah stores were not mentioned in this specific message.
As the threat was assessed, several of the stores were evacuated. Customers have expressed disappointment with the overall scenario.
“I stand behind Target selling whatever merchandise they like,” said Justin Walencik. “I always enjoy actually seeing all the LGBTQ+ stuff that they have. I’m not really shocked, I guess, but hearing that is unfortunate.”