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Botched Fax Prompts “Terrorism” Scare
Posted: 31 May 2007 01:05 PM   [ Ignore ]
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And of course it was in Boston.

And of course other branches around the US got the same fax and didn’t react in quite the same manner LOL

Oh Boston…..wtf is wrong with you?

Faulty fax, mistaken as threat, prompts evacuation of stores
Package heightens fears

By John C. Drake, Globe Staff |  May 31, 2007

ASHLAND—In a scene reminiscent of the Cartoon Network bomb scare that paralyzed the Boston area in January, police shut down a strip mall yesterday in this small western suburb after employees at a Bank of America branch mistook a botched fax for a bomb threat.

Frustrated shop owners said the branch overreacted to the strange fax, which turned out to be an in-house marketing document sent by the bank’s corporate office.

“The women at the bank should have handled it a little better,” said Nick Markos, owner of Townhouse Pizza and Roast Beef, who estimated that he had lost $1,000 to $1,200 because of the lunch-hour evacuation. “She blew it all out of proportion, and all of us business owners had to pay for it.”

A day-care center with about 30 children and more than a dozen small businesses in Ledgemere Plaza on Eliot Street were evacuated for about three hours after bank branch managers received a fax with images of a crude timer and a hand lighting a bomb, Ashland police Chief Scott Rohmer said. Bank employees told police a suspicious package had arrived around the same time, elevating their fears.

Bank security personnel later determined that a fax machine at the corporate office left off the text alerting employees to Small Business Commitment Week in June, including the words, “The Countdown Begins,” above the bomb.

“It was not a communication that was ever meant to be distributed to customers or anyone externally, and the fax machine malfunctioned, so when it came out of the fax machine, it looked suspicious,” Bank of America spokesman Ernesto Anguilla said.

Anguilla said that branches across the Northeast received the distorted fax and that while other branches also evacuated, none saw law enforcement response as extensive as in Ashland. He would not say how many branches received the fax or how many had been evacuated.

“In Ashland, the situation was compounded by the fact that we had a suspicious package on the scene, as well,” Anguilla said.

Added Rohmer, “I think it was reasonable to assume there was a threat, based on what they saw on the fax.”

Rohmer said that town officials may ask Bank of America to reimburse the town for the cost of the response, which included more than a dozen town officers and firefighters, personnel from neighboring towns, a State Police bomb squad, and police dogs. Anguilla would not comment on whether the bank would be willing to pay for the emergency response.

A reimbursement would add to the similarities to the Cartoon Network scare in January. The guerrilla marketing campaign, in which two artists hung 40 battery-powered light screens around Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville, shut down major streets and subways as bomb squads rushed to remove the suspicious-looking devices.

Turner Broadcasting System, Cartoon Network’s parent company, reimbursed local, state, and federal agencies and governments $1 million for the cost of the response and paid an additional $1 million in goodwill cash.

Dawn Frazier, a Holliston resident and owner of the Paul Albert Salon and Spa in the shopping plaza, said she immediately thought of that scare when she learned why she had to evacuate her busy shop.

“It was very disruptive,” she said.

Cristina Valas, owner of The Family Pet Hospital, said it was fortunate that the hospital was not in the middle of a surgery when police ordered the evacuation. They were directed to leave three cats, including one recovering from dental surgery, inside.

“I wouldn’t have taken it as a bomb threat, personally,” said veterinary technician Amy Tatreau. “However, you have to, I guess, treat things seriously these days.”

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Posted: 31 May 2007 02:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Boston has the best news ever, 2007 is thier year!

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Posted: 31 May 2007 02:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I have to admit that receiving the fax on the right might be a bit unsettling, but I’d probably just put it down to a joke.  A real bomb threat would probably have been more legible.

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Posted: 31 May 2007 02:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Well, if it were NYC that were reacting this way I would still think it was ridiculous, but maybe a bit understandable that they’d be so edgy. But they aren’t. Those lite brites were in NYC too and were ignored. NYC branches of this bank got that fax too from what I understand. No city blocks were shut down. I don’t know what Boston’s problem is.

But it’s funny, so…..carry on, Boston!

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Posted: 31 May 2007 02:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Maybe this will get people to intentionally prank Boston. Boston is like the kid that always falls for the, “There’s something on your shirt” trick. One day Boston will get sick of being poked in the nose though.

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Posted: 31 May 2007 06:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Yeah, because when I send bombs to people I send vague fax messages along with them to let everyone know what I’m up to.  rolleyes

You know, it’d be easy to pull off a massive burglary or art heist in Boston. All you do is make sure someone, anyone, see something (read: anything at all) that they might think perhaps indicates a bomb, and the whole police department will be there in minutes and the city shuts down. In the meantime you leisurely empty the art gallery of fine paintings tongue wink

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Posted: 01 June 2007 02:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Renquist - 31 May 2007 10:28 PM

Yeah, because when I send bombs to people I send vague fax messages along with them to let everyone know what I’m up to.  rolleyes

I had similar thoughts.  I never understood why bomb threats are made.  If you want to blow something up then blow it up.  Why try to warn the place you’re trying to blow it up?  Sheesh.

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Posted: 01 June 2007 10:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Tah - 01 June 2007 06:02 AM
Renquist - 31 May 2007 10:28 PM

Yeah, because when I send bombs to people I send vague fax messages along with them to let everyone know what I’m up to.  rolleyes

I had similar thoughts.  I never understood why bomb threats are made.  If you want to blow something up then blow it up.  Why try to warn the place you’re trying to blow it up?  Sheesh.

Unless you’re trying to extort a ransom or something, it somewhat defies logic to send a note.


And if you did send a note, you’d send one that was clear. Under no logical circumstances would anyone send a vague message, you’ll either send one to warn them or not send one at all. tongue wink

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Posted: 01 June 2007 11:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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In the past many groups/individuals (though far from all) didn’t want to actually kill any civilians if they could help it, they just wanted to cause damage and disruption.  Fake bomb threats caused disruption and real ones caused damage and disruption without the negative publicity of killing innocent people.  They were able to spread their messages without being labled as murderers, a very important distinction.

Not too many terror groups hold to such high ideals anymore, sadly.

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Posted: 01 June 2007 09:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Something like that wouldn’t get too far around here.  Any fax that comes in goes almost immediately to the wste bin.

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Posted: 02 June 2007 12:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Charybdis - 01 June 2007 03:42 PM

In the past many groups/individuals (though far from all) didn’t want to actually kill any civilians if they could help it, they just wanted to cause damage and disruption.  Fake bomb threats caused disruption and real ones caused damage and disruption without the negative publicity of killing innocent people.  They were able to spread their messages without being labled as murderers, a very important distinction.

Plus, there’s a slight difference in sentencing, if you get caught, between blowing up a bank lobby and blowing up a bank lobby filled with people.

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Posted: 02 June 2007 04:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Slender Loris - 31 May 2007 06:21 PM

Maybe this will get people to intentionally prank Boston. Boston is like the kid that always falls for the, “There’s something on your shirt” trick. One day Boston will get sick of being poked in the nose though.

I think I just laughed for like 5 minutes after reading this.

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