Updated May 1st, 2024 at 23:06 IST

Delhi Police Probing Suspected Islamic State Angle In Bomb Hoax at 130 Delhi-NCR Schools

Delhi Police have suspected an Islamic State (IS) angle after a preliminary probe in the bomb threat email sent to over 130 schools in the Delhi-NCR region.

Reported by: Abhishek Tiwari
Delhi-NCR bomb threat news: Police suspect Islamic State angle into the threat emails | Image:Representational
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New Delhi: The Delhi Police have suspected an Islamic State (IS) angle after a preliminary probe in the bomb threat email sent to over 130 schools in the Delhi-NCR region on Wednesday, which created a massive havoc in the national capital. As the probe into the incidents, which triggered a major chaos across the nation, the anti-terror unit of the Delhi Police hinted at a deeper conspiracy by the terror group amid the undergoing Lok Sabha elections 2024. The investigation so far has revealed the use of ‘Sawarim’ (clashing of the swords), an Arabic word, used by the Islamic State since 2014 to spread Islamist propaganda.

On Wednesday morning, the bomb threats were issued to over 130 schools located in the Delhi-NCR, which eventually turned out to be a hoax, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) stated. The bomb threats in schools led to a panic-like situation across the nation. The threat emails prompted a swift evacuation of students from campuses by the security forces, following which a detailed search operation was conducted.

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Bomb threats were sent to Over 130 schools located in Delhi-NCR

Meanwhile, after getting information about bomb threats, the panic-stricken parents of students in the entire city rushed to the schools to pick their children.

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The Delhi Police along with other security agencies evacuated the schools, after receiving the information about the emails. The bomb detection team, bomb disposal squad and officials of the fire brigade along with other concerned authorities too rushed to the schools.

During the extensive search at all the schools, nothing suspicious was found. The threat was then declared a hoax as "nothing objectionable" was found during searches.

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Considering the severity of the threat emails, the special cell of the Delhi Police registered an FIR under relevant sections of law for offenses like conspiracy and threat and initiated a probe into the matter. The police team is trying to trace the accused behind the threat emails.

It was after the initial investigation that the police suspected involvement of the Islamic State behind the threat mails to the schools.

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As per ANI, the police stated, “Special Cell of Delhi Police has registered an FIR against unknown people under section 120B, 506 of the IPC. The investigation will be done by the Counter Intelligence Team Special Cell. IFSO unit is also trying to find out the origin from where the mail was sent, till now the connection to Russia (IP address) has been revealed. As per the investigation till now, it seems to be part of a larger conspiracy. The investigating agency is also probing the angle of joint conspiracy between China and ISI.”

‘Sawarim’ Used in Email

According to reports, the investigation so far has revealed that ‘Sawarim’ (clashing of the swords) is an Arabic word, which has been used by the Islamic State since 2014 to spread Islamist propaganda. Thus, the police are investigating if there is a conspiracy of any organisation behind these threatening emails.

As per the police sources, the email ID from which the threat was sent was 'sawariim@mail.ru'. It is being said that ‘Sawarim’ is an Arabic word extensively used by the terror outfit Islamic State (IS) in their propaganda videos over the past several years. The email also reportedly contained "aayate (verses) of the holy Quran".

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Decoding Bomb Threat

A senior police official of the Delhi police stated that the matter pertains to national security and so it needs a deeper probe.

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In the identical threat emails sent to all the schools across Delhi-NCR, it was reportedly stated, "Drive them out of the places from which they drove you. There are many explosive devices in the school."

The investigators are looking into the timing angle too as the country is in the midst of Lok Sabha elections. "The main agenda of sending such threat emails in bulk is to create panic and wage a cyber war by some terror group," the Delhi police official said.

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"The domain of email ID sawariim@mail.ru has been traced to Russia and is suspected to have been formed with the help of the dark web, which is an encrypted online content that allows individuals to hide their identity and location from others," he said.

After the threat received by the schools on Wednesday, buildings were evacuated and students were sent back home. The Delhi Police said they received the calls from 131 schools in Delhi.

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Another police officer said, "The culprits must have watched past instances where students had sent such bomb threat emails to their schools as a prank. We are looking into that angle also." The Special Cell will also investigate the case of a bomb threat to Delhi's Chaha Nehru Hospital received through an email on Tuesday, police said. 
 

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Published May 1st, 2024 at 22:05 IST