The police continued their vigil following the bombings of threats in some 80 Quebec school institutions that have proven unfounded, said Wednesday the Acting Minister of Public Safety, Pierre Moreau.
In taking stock of the police operation which took place Tuesday, Mr. Moreau said the investigation was continuing in order to identify the source of the threat of bombings emailed.
“The investigation is ongoing on the identification of people,” he told reporters.
By late afternoon, the Sûreté du Québec (SQ) announced the arrest of four youths aged 16 and 17 in connection with the threats made last week against schools in the Outaouais and Ottawa. At least three of them appeared at the Gatineau courthouse, late Wednesday afternoon, to be accused of wrongdoing.
The SQ is not able at this time to establish a link between these cases and made threats against several schools Tuesday of Quebec and Ontario.
Minister Moreau also remained very cautious, arguing that four arrests were made in relation to the events of last week.
Over 70 primary schools, secondary and college had to be searched by police Tuesday to determine that no explosive device was not there, the minister said in press briefing.
“The others have not been excavated since the level of threat assessment does not justify a similar deployment is done,” he said.
A monitoring protocol set up with schools in the late evening Tuesday showed no new threatening message had been received in institutions.
High alert level
After Tuesday’s evacuation, schools must maintain a level of alert on communications and surrounding establishments for a period which was not specified.
“It is as high as yesterday, Mr. Moreau said. The evaluation of the risk factor is made on an ongoing basis. When the police tell us that the risk is back to normal, at which time the day before the measures cease. ”
In a statement sent to educational institutions, red Sceptre group claimed that his threatening gestures could extend until Friday.
Schools from several regions of Quebec had to be evacuated because of the threat, which forced a major police deployment, an operation which Mr. Moreau was not able to assess the cost, Wednesday.
Mr. Moreau reiterated that the author or authors of the email threats could face charges of terrorism, even if their actions do not materialize.
“It can be in a criminal prosecution a justification for terrorism charges that are requested by the Crown,” he has said.
In addition, two secondary schools were the target of isolated threats Wednesday morning in a district of Montreal and in the Lanaudiere region.
In the borough of Lachine, police searched a secondary school that management had evacuated after the discovery of a threatening letter, whose content was not disclosed. The students were then able to return the property.
In Sainte-Julienne, excavations were also carried out at a high school after his evacuation. A student could be charged with mischief.