SALT LAKE CITY — In a matter of 24 hours, several bomb threats were reported around the state, forcing one school to evacuate and a highway to shut down.
Monday, bomb threats and suspicious packages were reported around the state. Officials said across the country bomb threats are being reported, and are most likely copycats of last week's Boston Marathon bombings.
"I think there has been an uptick (in these events). There's always this copycat effect after any major terrorist event, popping up all over the world," said Stan Taylor, an intelligence and terrorism expert at Brigham Young University, and a former member of the Senate Intelligence Committee staff.
No information about the motives of these recent threats have been identified by police, and Taylor said that is common in these cases.
"No one knows motives. Motives are very difficult to ascertain, as you know," Taylor said. "And I think the copycat bombings are less ideologically motivated and merely people trying to get their name in the news. But the bombings themselves are increasingly driven by solipsism, a form of Muslim jihadism."
After a maintenance worker found a possible pipe bomb on the roof of Mountain View Elementary School, the school was evacuated while Layton police and fire departments rendered the device safe.
Tuesday, as school was being held as normal, officials were looking through surveillance video to identify a suspect. Police said Monday that the device had been thrown onto the roof.
Around 1:30 p.m. Monday afternoon, reports about a bomb on a tour bus headed through Monument Valley shut down Highway 163 while the bus was evacuated and swept for explosives.
With the help of the Utah County Sheriff's Office bomb squad, the bus was searched overnight and no bomb was found.
The Highway was reopened early morning.
The FBI has been called to assist in the investigation and try to locate the person who called in the threat.
Davis Hospital was put on lockdown for two hours Monday night after a bomb threat was called in at around 7 p.m.
Layton Police Sgt. Jeff Roderick told the Standard Examiner that incoming patients and visitors were kept out of the hospital while bomb squad teams swept the building. The only entrance was an emergency door where they were searched by officers.
Ambulances that could go to other hospitals were directed to do so at the time.
No device was found, and the hospital was reopened.