A bomb threat to a cruise ship headed toward Puerto Rico last weekend prompted repeated security sweeps that involved federal agents, the Puerto Rico Ports Authority, and teams of bomb-sniffing dogs, says USA Today. It’s ust one of the most recent of the constant terrorism-related hoaxes and false threats that plague the nation’s law enforcement and homeland security agencies.
Hoaxes that make national news, such as last fall’s “dirty bomb” threat against seven football stadiums are just a small fraction of those received by phone, mail, and e-mail each year. At police stations and FBI offices across the country hoaxes are “a serious drain,” says Ken Wainstein, head of the Justice Department’s National Security Division. “These terror hoaxes distract law enforcement.”