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The perpetrators behind Russia's nationwide bomb threats are four Russian citizens living abroad, says FSB chief
The bomb threats that have swept Russia since September, causing mass evacuations and enormous financial losses, are the work of four Russian citizens living abroad, according to a statement on Thursday by Alexander Bortnikov, the head of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB).
“We’ve identified them. It wasn’t easy. I can say definitively that these are Russian citizens. It’s four individuals currently located abroad,” Bortnikov told the news agency Interfax.
The FSB’s director noted that certain “technical matters” are complicating his agency’s police work. “Because they’re using IP-technology, pinpointing their location is difficult. We’re not the only ones to recognize this. Our partners working with us on this recognize it, as well,” he said.
Beginning on September 10, anonymous bomb threats have caused evacuations in cities across Russia. In most cases, the callers claim there is a bomb planted in a local government office, a shopping center, a school, or a train station. Every time, it’s been a hoax, but precautionary evacuations have affected tens of thousands of people, causing more than 300 million rubles ($5.2 million) in just the first few days alone, according to the FSB.
The Russian media has circulated several theories about the likely perpetrators, speculating that they’re based in Ukraine or even linked to ISIS. Police have detained some suspected imitators, but none of the main suspects.
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