San Francisco
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Some 500 people were safely evacuated from the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco on Thursday morning after a nearby bank was targeted in a string of bomb threats that rocked the nation, JTA reports.

The threats, which officials suspect were part of a giant hoax, appeared to target financial and governmental institutions, although other businesses and media outlets were also affected.

The email threats demanded Bitcoin payments or else bombs would detonate in those locations, according to the Northern California Regional Intelligence Center, which alerted local law enforcement agencies across the state.

The bomb threats were also made across the border, with cities including Ottawa, Montreal, Calgary, Winnipeg receiving similar messages.

In Toronto, reported local radio station 680 News, at least 10 bomb threats were made across the city, including several that caused closures of subway stations.

In San Francisco, police were called to at least nine locations around 10:00 a.m., including the JCC, which was ordered to evacuate after a threat was made against the San Francisco Fireman’s Credit Union, located directly across the street.

Just before 11:00 a.m., JCC executive director Marci Glazer received a call from the police, informing her of the bomb threat and the need to get people out of the building.

“This is something we are completely prepared for and practice on a regular basis,” she said, according to JTA.

JCC staff accounted for preschoolers, gym users, swimmers in the pool, seniors and others, and ushered them out of the building within eight minutes, according to Glazer. The all clear notice came less than two hours later, when people were allowed back in the building.

Glaser said the building was similarly evacuated close to eight years ago because of a bomb threat.

The Credit Union was one of several sites targeted in the Bay Area including the Marines Memorial Club and Hotel in San Francisco and Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park.

Last week, the Time Warner Building in New York City, which houses CNN’s offices, was evacuated for several hours after an unsubstantiated telephone threat came in, claiming there were five bombs in the building.