Swedish schools shut after app death threats

Swedish schools shut after app death threats
Students at Örebro University. Photo: Gunnar Lundmark/TT
UPDATED: The University of Örebro in central Sweden as well as a number of schools closed on Monday following threats made via a popular teens app.

“A threat directed against Örebro University has been made on the app Jodel,” the university said on Sunday on its website.

“We cannot jeopardise the safety of our students, staff and visitors. Therefore we have decided, in consultation with the police, to close the university on Monday 25th January.”

It also shared the news of the threat on Twitter.

Meanwhile police in Gävle in north east Sweden said that they were investigating a threat made by someone using the app against the Lyftet free school in the city.

The school was also closed although by Monday lunchtime officers said that they had found no evidence of any potential danger to the property.

The Vindelälven school in Sorsele, in northern Sweden, was also closed shortly after lunchtime after it too received a threat via Jodel. Two more schools in the municipality were also evacuated.

However police in Örebro said the person behind the university threat was believed to be a 15-year-old girl, who had confessed to her mother.

“It means that we don't view it as that serious any more,” police control room officer Jan Materne told the Aftonbladet tabloid.

The university initally stated it would remain closed on Monday but later said it would reopen its buildings in the afternoon and that teaching would resume on Tuesday.

Jodel is a German-made application for mobile phones that enables students on the same campus to contact each other anonymously and is popular at Swedish universities.

According to the Swedish news agency TT, the message disseminated on Jodel on Saturday had told Örebro students not to go to classes on Monday “if (they) want to survive.”

The university has 17,000 students, including many international students, and 1,200 employees.

On October 12th, the University of Lund in southern Sweden received a similar threat and closed for a day.

That text was similar to a message released before shootings at Umpqua Community College in the United States on October 1st, when a 26-year-old man killed nine people before committing suicide, local media reported at the time.

An investigation found that there was no danger, and the university, the second largest in Sweden, swiftly reopened.

There have also been a number of bomb threats at Swedish schools in recent months including one at The British International School of Stockholm last week.