New York City, Los Angeles Schools Receive Terror Threats

Officials in Los Angeles closed public schools for the day while New York City officials dismissed the threat as non-credible.
2:58 | 12/16/15

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Transcript for New York City, Los Angeles Schools Receive Terror Threats
We turn to that terror threat that shut down schools in L.A. Yesterday causing chaos for hundreds of thousands of families. New York got a similar threat decided to ignore it and that ignited a war of words between the two big cities. ABC's Matt Gutman is in los Angeles with the latest. Good morning, Matt. Reporter: Good morning, George. Soon after getting that threat, L.A. Deciding to close all of its 1500 plus schools. Now, in that e-mail threat was direct reference to the San Bernardino attack, New York City getting virtually the same e-mail but deciding immediately it was a hoax. Now, L.A. Is standing by its decision, one that cost it nearly $30 million and a lot of criticism. That threat warning of a swarm of jihadists descending on los Angeles schools came in an e-mail to an L.A. School board member at 5:00 A.M. Tuesday. What followed, a swift decision, 90 minutes later to close every one of the city's schools. We have suffered far too many school shootings in America to ignore these kind of threats. Reporter: The cost an estimated $29 million, about 650,000 students shut out. The superintendent has directed all schools to be closed today, Tuesday, December 15th, to ensure the safety of all students. Reporter: Parents left scrambling. Had to take the day off work, yes. Reporter: Were your employers understanding? Hopefully. Reporter: New York City officials received almost the exact same e-mail threat, but decided to keep schools open. New York's police commissioner blasting l.a.'s decision. To disrupt the daily schedules of half a million schoolchildren, their parents based on an anonymous e-mail, I think, it was a significant overreaction. Reporter: The first tip-off for New York police was that the alleged threat seemed remarkably similar to the plot line of the TV series "Homeland." The instigator of the threat may be a "Homeland" fan watching "Homeland" episodes that it mirrors a lot of recent episodes. Reporter: The police sent to New York read in part "Something big is going down. Not only are there bombs, but there are nerve gas agents set to go off at a specific time during lunch hour." It was so generic, so outlandish and posed to numerous school systems simultaneously. Reporter: And had a conspicuous typo, me and my 138 comrades will die tomorrow in the name of Allah with a lowercase "A" in the version. Incredible to think any jihadist would not spell Allah with a capital "A." Reporter: Now all schools are scheduled to re-open here this morning. But because so many people were rattled there will be uniformed officers at schools like this and crisis counselors. Now, that hoax, a very real felony, whoever perpetrated it could face up to 20 years in prison. George. They should get it. Okay, Matt, thanks very much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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