The LAPD is looking into it
From AP, with thanks to shoeshine:
LOS ANGELES – Federal officials have warned the LAPD about an unspecified potential threat to a Los Angeles area mall and said an attack may have been planned for Thursday.
“As of now, the information is uncorroborated and the credibility of the source is unknown,” the police department said in a statement.
No specific shopping mall was named, but the warning indicated a mall near the Federal Building in West Los Angeles could be targeted.
The LAPD will increase patrols at shopping malls in the city and asked mall operators to beef up their security while a joint terrorism task force investigates. The department said it would have no further comment beyond the statement issued late Wednesday.
UPDATE: It was a hoax. From the Copley News Service, :
LOS ANGELES – A Tanzanian citizen has been arrested and charged with making up a terrorist threat about a Los Angeles-area shopping mall that led to increased police patrols last week, the FBI said yesterday.
Zameer Mohamed, 23, was arrested Thursday by the U.S. Border Patrol in Montana after crossing into the United States illegally from Canada, said Richard Garcia, assistant director of the FBI’s Los Angeles office. Mohamed is being held in Montana and is expected to be transferred to Los Angeles.
Garcia said Mohamed has admitted he lied when he called the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on April 23 and told officials four people were headed to Los Angeles to carry out “an explosive attack” April 29 on a shopping mall near UCLA.
The hoax was an elaborate scheme to get back at Mohamed’s girlfriend in Toronto and three of her co-workers, according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court.
“It doesn’t appear he was involved in any type of terrorist activity,” Garcia said, adding that the investigation is continuing.
Mohamed believed his girlfriend owed him money, and he was angry at the other three people – two men and a woman – because they refused to talk to her about the issue, the complaint stated. Mohamed passed the names of the four to the Homeland Security Department “because he wanted to cause them problems and go to jail,” according to the FBI.