The head of Russia's main security agency says it has identified four Russian citizens suspected of organizing a wave of anonymous bomb threats that have prompted mass evacuations across the country.
Federal Security Service (FSB) Director Aleksandr Bortnikov said on October 5 that the four suspects are living abroad and that they have accomplices inside Russia, according to Russian news agencies.
He didn’t give the identity of the suspects or describe the motives behind the hoax bomb threats.
The bomb threats have prompted evacuations of tens of thousands of people at schools, malls, theaters, universities, hotels, government buildings, and transport facilities since September 10. Bombs have not been discovered in any of the cases.
Bortnikov said the economic damage from the massive evacuations topped 300 million rubles ($5.2 million) during the first days, while the calls continued for weeks after that.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said that the threats are "telephone terrorism" and that "all necessary measures are being taken" to find the perpetrators.