Authorities investigate online threat against O'Hare Airport

CHICAGO -- Authorities are investigating an online threat directed at O'Hare International Airport late Wednesday night.

Someone working on a computer somewhere in New York received a message about 11:40 p.m. from an unknown sender who demanded cryptocurrency, according to a statement from Chicago police.

The victim told authorities that the sender "stated there will be retaliation to O'Hare Airport if his demands are not met," police said. Area North detectives are investigating.

FBI Chicago spokesman Special Agent John Althen said the bureau was notified about the threat Wednesday night.

"We continue to work with our Federal, State and Local partners in assessing any credible threat to public safety," he said in a statement.

Maine Township High School District 207 sent a message to parents Thursday morning that read, "In an effort to provide transparent communications with parents, we want to share that there was a threat directed at O'Hare International Airport that each of the Maine Township High School District 207 schools received this morning through anonymous alerts."

District Communications Director Brett Clark said Maine East, Maine South and Maine West high schools all received messages about the threat shortly after midnight to their anonymous alert systems.

Clark said the threat was investigated by the FBI and the Park Ridge, Des Plaines and Chicago police departments, and that authorities told the school district there was "no credibility" to the threat.

Schools were operating on normal schedules Thursday morning with an "enhanced police presence," Clark said.

Representatives for Park Ridge police and the Chicago Department of Aviation did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire - Copyright Chicago Sun-Times 2019.)