Australian police have evacuated a number of schools in Sydney over attack threats, saying the operation has been launched “as a precaution.” It comes days after fake bomb threats caused hundreds to be evacuated in the city.
several schools in Sydney were evacuated and locked down on Monday ie 1st Feb 2016 after reportedly receiving bomb threats leading to police operations in Australia’s largest city.
The “threats” are only the latest in a string of attempts to exploit the moods and concerns of Australians in the wake of a hostage crisis in Syndey, and other recent terrorist attacks globally. In New South Wales alone, several schools have already been subject to false-alarm evacuations due to an “elaborate series of hoax bomb threats,” as described by 7 News Sydney. Other buildings have recently been evacuated in “police operations,” included the iconic Sydney Opera House.
At least eight operations are underway at Sydney schools and among those affected are Hunters Hill High, Sydney’s Girls High School, Randwick Girls High, Mosman High, Riverside Girls High, James Ruse Agricultural High, Cheltenham Girls High School and Caringbah High School.
Police confirmed via a tweet at 1.28 pm (local time) on Monday that, “As a precaution, a police operation is under way at a number of schools across Sydney”.
Police said the probe was continuing and they were liaising with the Department of Education.Motorists were being advised to take alternative routes and allow extra time.
Later on, after sweeping the schools, police declared the threats a hoax.
Meanwhile, making threats targeting schools and public places seems to have become an internet trend, as over the past week numerous similar cases have been reported in a number of Western countries, including the UK, France, and Belgium, as well as Tokyo and the US overseas territory of Guam.
One “group” claiming responsibility for these earlier evacuations calls itself the “EvacuationSquad” and says it consists of“six individuals based internationally.” It has already changed numerous Twitter accounts, as they keep getting suspended following the hoaxes, but one that drew particular attention in the UK media, @SwatTheW0rld, used a photo of Russian President Vladimir Putin as its profile pictiure. This led to a headline in the Independent that misleadingly described the mystery hoaxers as being “pro-Putin.”