Wednesday 23 May 2018

Russian group claims responsibility for bomb threats against European schools

Police and bomb disposal experts found no evidence of any explosive devices
Police and bomb disposal experts found no evidence of any explosive devices
French investigators stand guard at the Eiffel Tower

David Kearns

A Russian group has claimed responsibility for the evacuation of thousands of school children across Europe after at least 20 schools received bomb threats on Tuesday.

A Twitter account going by the handle Evacuators 2K16 (@Ev4cuati0nSquad) said it was responsible for the international "mayhem".

In a message posted online, the group, which used a .ru domain name, asked users to send in details for the schools they wished to receive bomb threats.

“We are EvacuationSquad. We do what we do for a few reasons: We hate the American government, We hate authority, and we LOVE to cause mayhem,” began the message, which has since been deleted along with the Twitter account.

Read More: Bomb threats spark evacuations at 14 schools across England

The profile said in its biography "we are six individuals based internationally” and claimed support for the regime of Syria's Bashar al-Assad – a key ally of Russia in the Middle-East.

Tweets sent from the account specifically mentioned the West Midlands and Paris, two regions which saw a number of schools evacuated after receiving bomb threats.

Each post also made reference to ‘SWATTING’, a type of online harassment wherein emergency services are called to response to an address based on false information.

The term is synonymous in the United States with getting armed police – usually SWAT units – to raid a house or business of an unsuspecting victim.

Read More: Five schools across Paris evacuated after series of bomb threats

Earlier today, fourteen bomb threats were made to schools in the UK.

Six of these were in the West Midlands, four in London and four in Cornwall.

Almost at the same time, six schools in central Paris were also evacuated after receiving similar threats.

It is also believed a school in Norway which received a bomb threat this morning is too linked to the group’s claims.

The schools all received the same warning between 9:20 am and 11:20 am (GMT).

So far no devices have been found, according to multiple police reports.

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