Karine Jean-Pierre
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FBI Arrests Suspect in Anti-Trans Boston Children's Hospital Bomb Hoax

Boston Children's Hospital

The FBI says it has arrested a Massachusetts woman in connection with a hoax bomb threat against Boston Children’s Hospital.

The FBI, U.S. attorney for Massachusetts, and Boston Police announced at a press conference Thursday that Catherine Leavy, 37, is facing federal charges in connection with a bomb threat at Boston Children’s Hospital in August. 

U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins said the threat was received over the hospital switchboard by phone. According to Rollins, the caller told the operator who answered the call, “There is a bomb on the way to the hospital. You better evacuate everybody. You sickos.” Authorities responded immediately, Rollins said. Rollins said the Boston Police bomb squad responded without finding any explosives.

Rollins said that investigators obtained warrants and tracked the call to a T-Mobile phone owned by the suspect. Officials said her arrest was “without incident” at her Westfield home.

Among the far right, there has been a rise in misinformation about gender-affirming care, which falsely accuses caregivers of mutilating children. 

Despite online allegations, children under 18 cannot undergo genital surgery at Boston Children’s. 

The attacks against the hospital began when far-right provocateur and transphobe Chaya Raichik, who runs the Twitter account LibsOfTikTok, unleashed her more than 1.3 million followers on posting information about the hospital and encouraging anti-LGBTQ+ sympathizers to aim at the institution.

Rollins said that Leavy appeared before a magistrate judge Thursday and was held in custody pending a detention hearing Friday at noon.

According to Rollins, bomb hoaxes create fear and panic, divert resources to the wrong places, and harm communities. She could not comment further on the motive behind the hoax.

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