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Pride Month Brings Threats

Target Stores Across the Country Have Been Receiving Emailed Bomb Threats Since Before May 26th

This Past Weekend They Hit Across the Country

FBI Takes Over the Investigation with Joint Terrorism Task Force

Nationwide Bomb Threats Rock Target Stores, Raising Grave Security Concerns
This past Saturday, the peaceful routine of weekend shopping was shattered when bomb threats via email triggered a wide-scale panic at several Target stores in Oklahoma City and across the United States.

The alarming situation, which seemed eerily reminiscent of the dark shadow cast by the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, unfolded rapidly, sending waves of concern through conservative communities over the escalating threat to national security and public safety.

An email chillingly titled "We placed bombs in Target" sparked the terror alert, playfully challenging authorities by stating, "We are going to play a game." It ominously listed multiple Target store addresses throughout Oklahoma City, Yukon, Norman, Midwest City, Moore, and Edmond.

Adding to the menacing tone, the anonymous sender wrote, "2 of these target locations have bombs in them. We hid the bombs inside some product items. The bombs will detonate in several hours, guess which ones have the bombs. Time is ticking. 4/19/1995." The invocation of the notorious date of the Oklahoma City bombing amplified the threat's impact.

Evacuations swiftly ensued in response to the threats, causing chaos and fear among shoppers. Some shoppers initially reported being locked inside stores before being ordered to evacuate. Meanwhile, further afield, similar threats were issued to Kohl's stores near Milwaukee and another Target store in Lafayette, Louisiana.

Despite the threats claiming to retaliate against a perceived betrayal of the LGBTQ community by Target, no bombs were detonated, and the stores have resumed regular hours. Still, the episode served as a stark reminder of the ongoing national security threats faced by Americans today.

Multiple Milwaukee-area Kohl's locations evacuated

Evacuated employees told WISN 12 News police told them there was a bomb threat

WISN 12 News received an email making threats against multiple different Kohl's locations in the area. WISN 12 News alerted authorities, including Brookfield police, that said they had also received the email.

"Yeah, there's a bomb threat at Kohl's. And so supposedly we have to evacuate everybody from the entire strip mall," said Kyle Cvecko, a Piggly Wiggly employee.

Cvecko said that's what police told the employees at Piggly Wiggly. It's next door to Kohl's and was also evacuated.

"We were told to evacuate at 5:30, and we've been out here ever since," Cvecko said.

Brookfield police say the area is safe and free from explosive devices after K9 units from the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office Department searched the area.

West Allis police tell us a similar situation happened at the same time at the Kohl's store on Highway 100.

Eight days ago, two other Kohl's stores in the Milwaukee area were targets of bomb threats.

Oklahoma City metro briefly evacuated Saturday afternoon
Oklahoma City television station KFOR reported that it had received the email, which listed several Target locations and claimed two had bombs inside.

"We are going to play a game," the email said, according to the station. "We hid the bombs inside some product items. The bombs will detonate in several hours, guess which ones have the bombs. Time is ticking."

The email included the date of April 19, 1995, the date of the Oklahoma City bombing, KFOR reported.

Target is among corporate brands that have come under fire from right-wing groups for supporting the LGBTQ+ community. Target stores in Utah, Ohio and Pennsylvania have also received bomb threats in recent weeks.

Target bomb threats: Bomb threats made against Target stores in Utah, Ohio and Pennsylvania over Pride controversy.

Several Louisiana Target stores targeted in bomb threats following Pride Month backlash
Lafayette, LA (KPLC) - Several Target stores in Louisiana were named in bomb threats over the weekend. The email threat was sent to media outlets across the state, naming specifically a store in Baton Rouge and two in Lafayette.

The email accuses the store of bowing "to the wishes of the far-right extremists who want to exterminate us." Similar emails were sent across the country and claimed to come from supporters of the LGBTQ+ community.

Target Response:

"Since introducing this year's collection, we've experienced threats impacting our team members' sense of safety and well-being while at work," Target said in a statement Tuesday. "Given these volatile circumstances, we are making adjustments to our plans, including removing items that have been at the center of the most significant confrontational behavior."

On Saturday the Lafayette Target locations were evacuated, but after a search, no devices were found and both stores were cleared to reopen.

Hoax bomb threats prompt evacuations at Target stores in New York, NH, Vermont over the weekend
A spate of hoax bomb threats led to the evacuation of numerous Target stores across New Hampshire and Vermont over the weekend.

The threats were believed to be part of a "swatting" event on Saturday night targeting stores in New York, New Hampshire and Vermont, according to WPTZ. Similar threats were received by Target stores in other parts of the country as well.

"I don't think this will necessarily be the end as these email-type threats can be done with a great deal of anonymity," said South Burlington Police Chief Shawn Burke, whose community received the threats.

He said the Target in South Burlington was closed for about 20-25 minutes while police cleared the building and ensured that it was safe.

No arrests have been made. The FBI has taken over the investigation into the threats, working in conjunction with the Joint Terrorism Task Force.

Target has been hit by vandals and threats recenlty from people opposed to their LGBTQ+ merchandise and displays, which prompted the company to remove some products and relocate Pride Month displays to the back of stores in southern locations last month in response to online complaints and in-store confrontations that it said threatened employees' well-being.

May 31, 2023: At Least 9 Target Stores Have Been Receiving Bomb Threats
At least nine Target locations in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Utah recently received false bomb threats amidst ongoing right-wing outcry against the brand's annual Pride Month collection.

These threats, which impacted Target stores in the greater Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Salt Lake City areas, came in the form of an email from what Layton, Utah Police Sgt. John Ottesen declared a "bogus email address," according to local news outlet KUTV.

Cleveland 19 News shared a screenshot of the email, in which the sender - who claims to be a member of the LGBTQ+ community - tells the news outlet that they intend to punish Target for recently pulling some of its Pride-themed merchandise from stores by placing bombs in select stores.

"We will continue to bomb your Targets until you stop cowering and bring back your LGBT merchandise," the writer said. "We will not be erased, we won't go quietly."