MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Bomb threat calls in Russia were initiated from abroad by persons linked with Daesh terrorist group (Islamic state, ISIS, banned in Russia), a law enforcement source told Sputnik on Thursday.
"Law enforcement agencies promptly carried out operations to ensure the security of citizens. Inspections of facilities did not expose terror threats. According to data obtained as a result of search and investigative activities, anonymous calls were initiated by persons abroad who are linked with the Islamic State [Daesh] terrorist group, which is banned in Russia," the source said.
Russian law enforcement agencies have already identified a number of people who made bomb threat calls across the country, adding that they would be put on an international wanted list after the necessary procedures are completed.
Later in the day, the Kremlin commented on the incidents it called "telephone terrorism," saying that Russian President Vladimir Putin has been informed about the situation.
"Undoubtedly, it is a telephone terrorism, a telephone hooliganism. Of course, the president has been informed as soon as this series of phone calls began. The relevant authorities are taking all the necessary measures in order to identify those responsible for this series of calls. We are waiting for the results of this work," Peskov told reporters.
Over the past three days, a series of such calls were registered in 22 Russian cities, with over 45,000 people being evacuated from a total of 205 locations. Not a single case of an explosive device planted in any of the buildings has yet been confirmed. A source earlier told Sputnik that the calls allegedly came from Ukraine.
Asked to comment on whether the phone calls were linked to the Ukrainian Security Service or carried out by direct order of Russian authorities to test the country's security systems, both of which are theories that have been brought up recently, Peskov pointed out that there was no point in discussing such allegations.
"There is absolutely no point in commenting on these allegations. I repeat once again that it is a telephone terrorism, this is the way it should be classified, and all the measures to identify those responsible are based on this. Other interpretations are hardly possible, we should just wait for the results of the concrete measures that are taken," the spokesman said.
Эвакуация из за анонимного звонка. Киевская pic.twitter.com/CUkj5Y83CO— Екатерина Шишкова (@kattyshishkova) 13 сентября 2017 г.
A total of 23 buildings, including shopping malls, and three railway stations, as well as two universities were evacuated in Moscow on Wednesday after anonymous calls about explosive devices allegedly planted in the buildings. Security checks are underway in over 190 buildings in 17 Russian cities, including Moscow, a source told Sputnik earlier.