RIGA - It is possible that the treat emails sent out to hundreds of schools across Latvia this week is part of a hybrid attack, President Edgars Rinkevics said in an interview with TV24 on Friday.
The president declined to make any conclusions before the authorities in charge of the investigation have come up with their findings. Rinkevics said that from the attackers' standpoint, the threat emails were carefully timed, as the Hamas terrorist group launched its large-scale attack on Israel last Saturday, sharpening public sensitivity to possible terror threats.
"I understand very well the teachers and parents for whom it was an anxious moment. I am planning to have a meeting with the minister of the interior to discuss funding for the law enforcement system, the ministry's priorities, as well as the eastern border. I intend to discuss these issues as well," the president said.
According to Rinkevics, the case of the threat emails received by Latvian schools shows that the algorithm of action is clear if one or two schools, one or two shops are affected. However, if it affects a large number of people, an algorithm is needed for taking centralized decisions on who decides what to do and how.
"Cooperation between the education and home affairs systems absolutely must be improved. There should be one person in charge who makes the decision, for example, if the threat level is low and considered insignificant. There has to be someone who has the final say. I think there is a need for some work," the president said.
Addressing the public, Rinkevics said that we live in extremely difficult times when provocations, incidents and hybrid attacks have become commonplace.
As reported, at the beginning of the week, several educational institutions across Latvia received anonymous threat emails in Russian over a period of two days. The State Police described the emails as a low-level threat and a targeted criminal action aimed at destabilizing society and the work of authorities. The schools and kindergartens were therefore asked not to suspend their work, but a number of them chose to evacuate the children as a precaution.
Information available to the State Police suggests that the sender of the threat emails was the same person, and that the same criminal had been active for about a year, sending similar threat letters to various organizations.