The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

FBI following Clovis bomb threats


September 7, 2017

CLOVIS — The Federal Bureau of Investigations is following the spate of telephoned threats of violence hitting Clovis in the past week and is ready to assist local law enforcement as needed, according to a representative of the domestic intelligence and security service.

But officials warned Wednesday that it’s not easy to trace threatening phone calls.

“With technology these days ... the chances of catching whoever is doing this is not very probable,” said Albuquerque Police Public Information Officer Tanner Tixier.

Still, some basic measures from those receiving the calls can go a long way to apprehension, said Frank Fisher, FBI Albuquerque Division media coordinator.

If other calls come in, “the important thing is just that people report these things to law enforcement,” Fisher said. “Just try to take good notes, and if you have the phone number be able to give it to police.”

Fisher also shared a resource from the Department of Homeland Security, elaborating on the same tips. If you receive a bomb threat, try to do the following:

• Remain calm

• Keep the caller on the line as long as possible

• Write down as much information as you can.

That includes “caller ID number, exact wording of threat (and) type of voice or behavior.”

The resource recommends recording the call if possible and staying on the line — even if the caller hangs up.

Two recent incidents of widespread calls concerning bomb or shooting violence to Clovis businesses and public entities resulted in temporary lockdowns or evacuations; over 30 such calls were reported Aug. 30, and several more on Tuesday impacted area schools.

In neither case did any of the threats appear to materialize.

The caller has indicated an association with 16-year-old Nathaniel Jouett, who was arrested last week as the sole suspect in the mass shooting Aug. 28 at the Clovis library.

That event — which injured four and killed two — made national headlines and may have attracted some unwanted attention, said Tixier.

“When your community makes national news, for whatever reason, random out-of-state or even out-of-country bomb threats (are known to happen),” Tixier said. “In Albuquerque we’ve experienced the same issue. Then there will be another major news cycle somewhere else in the country and they’ll lose interest and it will move along.”

By taking the claims seriously and erring toward caution, city leadership’s response to the varied threats since August has been consistent with general procedure in such situations, Tixier said.

“We put safety of life in front of inconvenience,” he said. “It’s better to be overly cautious and safe rather than a little callous and then have an injury or several injuries.”

Tixier said he did not have specific knowledge of local law enforcement’s investigation of the threats, and he deferred to their recommendations for responding to any subsequent calls.

Police Chief Doug Ford said in an email on Tuesday:

“We recommend they gather as much information as possible if called, be aware of their surroundings and contact us as soon as they are contacted.”

More information from the DHS bomb threat resource:


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