RIGA - Several hundred schools across Latvia received threat emails on Tuesday and some of them were evacuated for security concerns, while police called these low-risk threats and said there were no reasons for panic.
The press office of the State Police told LETA that several education institutions all over Latvia received identical emails containing threats. Such emails that are sent out to hundreds of recipients have come to law enforcement authorities' attention already earlier.
It has been established that this time at least three types of threat emails have been distributed from several addresses, but the sender appears to have generated different email addresses and the cases are all linked. State Police chief Armands Ruks confirmed to LETA that around 300 educational institutions had received the emails.
"There were three different messages. Several email addresses have been regenerated and we also see a link to the past, i.e. there were similar cases in the courts on Monday. Now, experts are working to understand from where the email addresses were regenerated. The IP addresses are from different countries in Africa and Europe. In cyber-environment, this can easily be done to deceive people about their true location, so it is just as well that this person or persons are in Latvia," Ruks said.
The police assess that the aim of these actions was to frighten the Latvian public and destabilize the work of the authorities, but there are no grounds for alarm at the moment. Ruks could not say whether this was an organized action by countries unfriendly to Latvia or any other motive, as the police are working and trying to locate the source of these threats. "Let's hope that we will be able to trace this person or group of people, which is technologically not easy," the police chief added.
Police have precise algorithms for dealing with such cases, clearly defining the course of action and the risk level assessment.
The police explained that in low risk situations, it is not necessary to take emergency measures such as evacuation. At the same time, publicly available information suggests that some schools, for example in the Riga region, did evacuate students.
Evija Ansonska, a representative for the Ministry of Education and Science, explained to LETA that each educational institution has an evacuation plan and internal regulations, which stipulate the actions of the school's administration in the event of a threat and that the schools follow these rules.