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Tampa airport officials are investigating after the mayor’s Twitter account hacked, bomb threats made

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn Twitter account was hacked early Thursday morning with the hijacker places of racist and pornographic pictures and a threat against the Tampa International Airport (TPA).
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Officials with the Tampa International Airport (TPA) to say that there is no credible threat against the air hub after hackers took control of the Tampa mayor’s Twitter account and bomb threats on Thursday morning.

The personal Twitter account of Mayor Bob Buckhorn of Tampa, Florida, was hacked early Thursday morning with the hijacker places of racist and pornographic pictures and a threat against the Tampa International Airport (TPA). Representatives of the mayor have confirmed that they are working to suspend the account.

Around 4 a.m. on Feb. 21, Twitter messages with offensive content and pictures — described as “racist, misogynistic, and pornographic” by Fox 13 — flocked the personal Twitter feed of the ‘Sunshine State’ mayor, spamming his following of 52,000.

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“I have a bomb hidden in a package somewhere on the Tampa international aiport,” a tweet from the hacker to read. “Also in the future to see some of the minorities to die.”

“EMERGENCY ALERT, BALLISTIC MISSILE WIRE INCOMING TAMPA BAY AREA. IMMEDIATELY SHELTER. THIS IS NOT a drill,” another message read, as per WFLA.

Threats against Tampa employees of the municipality and the local VA office were also placed on the infected account, according to Fox 13.

Ashley Bauman, Buckhorn the director of communications, made the following statement in response to the incident:

“Earlier this morning we saw someone hacked Mayor Buckhorn’s twitter account, this was clearly not the Mayor Buckhorn. After the adoption of the hack, we immediately started with the investigation of this reprehensible tweets. We will work with our Tampa Police Department as well as all the researchers to find out how this violation is made,” Bauman told WFLA. “We ask the residents to change their passwords, and continue to alert officials if they see that an unexpected change in the activity of an account. We are working working with law enforcement to investigate all threats made by this hack.”

Buckhorn told WFLA that he is on a hunting trip, and that its staff members work to the hacked social media account closed.

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Reps for the Tampa Police Department (TPD) and TPA airport police have also said that there is no known credible threats” to the airport at this time.

“Tampa Police are investigating a hack of Mayor Bob Buckhorn Twitter account. The Mayor is aware of the hack. ACCORDING to the investigators are trying to determine who was behind the vile messages. There are no known credible threats,” ACCORDING to spokesman Steve Hegarty told WFLA.

“Airport Police are aware of hackers made threats against the airport by the Tampa mayor’s twitter account. Police do not believe the threats are credible, but are taking the appropriate measures to ensure the safety of TPA. Activities for passengers are normally at this time, ” representatives of the air hub tweeted from TPA’s official Twitter account.

The airport says that the officials have taken “appropriate measures” to ensure the safety of passengers, forward.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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