Just weeks after the U.S. was rocked by reports that a radical Muslim beheaded a former coworker in Oklahoma, three Rhode Island communities are on high alert after receiving threats that local children would be beheaded in coming days.
According to a local Fox affiliate, the communities of Warwick, Cranston and Johnston have posted police officers at all schools for the balance of this week. Authorities are reportedly looking for anything out of the ordinary following the receipt of a one-page, handwritten letter referencing violence against students.
The FBI is involved in the investigation, sources confirm, and local leaders say they are taking every precaution to make sure every child is safe.
“The police presence [is] also going to be not just for during school days but after school activities,” assured Cranston Mayor Allan Fung.
According to Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian, responding to such a threat is uncharted territory in the community.
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“We have had isolated threats to individual schools,” he said, “but nothing citywide like this before.”
As a result, Avedisian confirmed student safety will be his primary objective.
“We will not let the kids go outside at recess,” he said, “and they’ll stay inside in the all-purpose room or the gym.”
Local parents received calls and emails from school administrators alerting them to the troubling development. Reports indicate that, following the threat, school attendance has dropped by about one-third in each of the affected towns.
Investigators now say they are interested in interviewing several persons of interest, including local students. The case is expected to take authorities outside of the state.
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Photo Credit: Oleg Zabielin (Shutterstock)
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