The details are still a bit sketchy at this point but the Associated Press reports that sometime Thursday a bomb threat was made against federal buildings in Portland. At least two buildings are now closed because of the threat:
At least two federal buildings in Portland have been closed and the FBI is investigating after a car bomb threat was made, the officials said Friday.
The threat, which was received Thursday, warned of the intention to use a car bomb to target federal property in Portland, according to two law enforcement officials. A number of federal offices in the area have been closed because of the threat, the officials said. The officials could not discuss the investigation publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity…
The Portland office of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court was closed because of a threat of violence in the area, according to the court’s website. Also closed was the Mark O. Hatfield Federal courthouse, which was the site of weeks of violent protests last month.
KGW 8 adds that two child development centers announced last night that they would be closed today because of their location:
On Thursday night, Joyful Noise Child Development Center announced its downtown and east federal centers would be closing Friday, citing “a security threat to federal buildings in Portland.” The downtown Portland location is in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers building. The east center shares a Lloyd District building with Metro Regional Center, which was already closed to limit the spread COVID-19.
Finally, all federal workers have been told to leave downtown by noon which suggests authorities are taking this threat pretty seriously:
Just after 10 a.m. City of Portland employees were asked “out of an abundance of caution” to leave the downtown area by noon and stay away through the weekend, due to scheduled demonstrations and an increased potential for dangerous activity.
In theory, anyone with a case taking place in the Mark O. Hatfield Courthouse or the Bankruptcy Court could have called in this threat as a way of delaying their case. But as you can see from the AP story above, it has already crossed the minds of many that the federal courthouse has been the focus of nightly protests/riots for weeks. The rioters may not be behind this threat but I certainly wouldn’t put it past them. Their motto is “by any means necessary” so it’s conceivable this is a new tactic they are trying out.
Last night a federal ICE facility in Portland was the focus of a mob of vandals. An unlawful assembly was declared and police eventually pushed the group away from the building. A riot was declared in the same area Wednesday night after attacks on the building that shattered windows. The AP reports that it is unclear at this moment if the ICE facility was mentioned in the threat or if it has been closed today.