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Lund reopens after social media 'shooting' threat

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Lund reopens after social media 'shooting' threat
Lund University rector Torbjörn von Schantz. Photo: Stig-Åke Jönsson/TT
07:31 CEST+02:00
UPDATED: Sweden's second largest university reopened on Tuesday after earlier cancelling all classes over an anonymous threat on social media that raised fears of a mass shooting.

The threat first emerged on Sunday evening, prompting Lund University, in southern Sweden, to keep its campuses closed to staff and students on Monday as a precaution.

But after a meeting later in the day, university officials announced that classes would resume the following morning in light of “new information” from the police.

“Investigations have revealed that the threat directed at Lund University posted on the Jodel app was not a unique occurrence, but has occurred in several places in Sweden. In view of this, the decision to close the university has been reversed,” it said on its website.

A press spokesperson confirmed to The Local on Tuesday morning that the university had opened for business and that everything was running as normal.


A deserted student union building at Lund University on Monday. Photo: Stig-Åke Jönsson/TT

Jodel is an application for mobile phones that allows students to communicate anonymously to others in the same university.

According to Swedish media, a Jodel user issued the following message on Sunday: “Do not go to the university tomorrow if you are in Lund. Look at the news tomorrow morning.”

The text drew parallels with a message released on the Internet forum 4chan before the October 1st shootings at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg in the US state of Oregon, when a 26-year-old man killed nine people before committing suicide, the media said.

Investigators have not however confirmed that the author of the message and the killer were the same person.

Threats of similar attacks remain rare in Sweden, and Lund University press spokesperson Jonas Andersson downplayed international reports claiming that Sweden was heading the same way as the US when The Local spoke to him on Tuesday morning. 

"It's very hard to speak for everyone, but I personally don't feel afraid. It felt a bit uneasy yesterday, but now the police have said that [the university can reopen], and I think that's the right decision," he said.


The threat prompted Lund to close its campuses on Monday. Photo: Stig-Åke Jönsson/TT

The rector (or principal) of Lund University, Torbjörn von Schantz, earlier said he had felt no hesitation about cancelling all classes.

“Security must come before everything else,” he told the Swedish news agency TT.

Police in Lund said they were looking for whoever was behind the threat.

“Police have gathered some technical information which will be examined,” they said in a statement.

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