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A series of bomb threats targeting LGBTQ+ Pride events in Montana are being ruled a hoax

A series of bomb threats targeting LGBTQ+ Pride events in Montana are being ruled a hoax

The tactics are “often used to deter people from participating.”

A series of bomb threats targeting annual Pride events in Montana were deemed hoaxes “used to deter people from participating” in the LGBTQ+ celebrations, police say.

Two threats were made Saturday and Sunday as Bozeman police investigated two bomb threats that “occurred within the city limits of Bozeman,” according to a statement from Bozeman police. On Friday, authorities received two more similar bomb threats.

After conducting an investigation into the threats with federal law enforcement partners, police determined the threats were not credible and authorities “did everything we could to identify the source,” police said.

“As a city, we remain vigilant and take these threats of violence seriously. The targeted businesses and individuals had connections to our upcoming Pride events and tactics like these have often been used to deter people from participating,” Bozeman police said. “As Bozeman looks to host Pride Week again this year, we are committed to protecting our community, especially the LGBTQ+ community, so everyone feels safe to celebrate.”

It is unclear whether the source of the bomb threats came from the same person or group, but parts of the city were cordoned off and several buildings and surrounding businesses were evacuated after the first two threats came in on Friday, police said.

“Detectives began investigating the leads and ultimately determined that the email came from an unknown account holder in Nigeria, Africa,” Bozeman police said. “Detectives also learned from federal partners that similar emails had been received by other companies across the country and were believed to be a hoax. It appears at this time that these threats were related to planned PRIDE events next month.”

“Hate and threats of violence toward our residents have no place in Bozeman and are not representative of who we are. As we approach Pride events and beyond, we will ensure appropriate measures are taken to keep our community safe,” authorities continued. “We remain committed to being a welcoming community for all, and as always we urge anyone who witnesses suspicious activity to report incidents to police immediately.”