Bomb Threats Result in Canceled Classes in Baltic Nations

Bomb Threats Result in Canceled Classes in Baltic Nations

( – It’s been an eventful year across the world. Ukraine continues to fight off Russia’s aggressions more than 18 months after President Vladimir Putin first ordered the invasion. Then, Hamas attacked Israel in October, launching a conflict that resulted in thousands of collective deaths on both sides. Now, hundreds of schools in Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia are struggling to get to the root of a series of bomb threats sent via email.

On Wednesday, October 11, schools in the Baltic regions reported “a coordinated mass attack” from an as of yet unidentified source. The perpetrators hit Estonia on Wednesday and moved on to Lithuania on Thursday. The latter received an astonishing 750 emails on Friday alone.

Authorities immediately launched an investigation to identify the source of the threats. They discovered that the emails originated in the European Union (EU). Schools in all three nations opted to shut down for a few days as a security precaution. But officials across the Baltic region seemed dismissive of the threats, calling them a scare tactic.

Lithuania’s Interior Minister Agne Bilotaite told The Associated Press that “there is no need to panic” over “false reports.” Latvian law enforcement appeared to echo that sentiment, labeling the emails a low-level threat.

Authorities in Estonia and Latvia were reportedly coordinating to address the matter as of October 13. Lithuania’s Commissioner General of Police Renatas Pozela confirmed that Poland, Moldova, and Ukraine had also faced similar threats in recent months. Estonia’s Tallinn Airport also received a similar message recently, according to Bloomberg.

Concerns about whether the unidentified perpetrators may be specifically targeting Jewish schools immediately began to swirl after the threats went public. Ramūnas Matonis, a police spokesperson, did confirm that some of the institutions targeted were Jewish, but did not draw any conclusions about the specificity of the attack.

Pozela said that some of the emails were written in Russian and many contained political content. It’s no secret that the Baltic states have harshly criticized not just the country, but also President Vladimir Putin, which could serve as a motive for the attacks. In fact, Latvian officials believe that they are likely coming from one person who has been active for over a year.

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