The World Bank said Thursday that its security was investigating a bomb threat made by telephone and asked its staff at its Washington headquarters to stay home on Friday.
“The bank is working with law enforcement officials to determine the validity of the threat,” the bank said in a statement.
“As a precautionary measure, bank group management has decided to close all World Bank group leased and owned buildings in Washington on Friday,” it added.
The institution is located about a block from White House and employs 7,000- 8,000 people in at least seven buildings in downtown Washington.
The International Monetary Fund, which has its offices next to the World Bank, will be open.
The U.S. national terrorism threat level currently is “elevated,” or two steps below the highest rating of “severe,” according to the Department of Homeland Security. The threat level is “high” for all domestic and international flights, one below the top rating.
“While there continues to be no credible information at this time warning of an imminent threat to the homeland, the department’s strategic threat perspective is that we are in a period of increased risk,” the department said in a statement on its Web site.
IMF spokesman Bill Murray says, “a liberal leave policy” has been put in place for all workers who prefer not to come to the building today.
“There is no indication that the IMF is in any way affected by the threat or the World Bank’s response,” it said in a statement on its Web site. “The Fund will be open for business as usual.”