Published Wednesday, November 4, 2015 10:45AM EST
Last Updated Thursday, November 5, 2015 7:04AM EST
The Sureté du Quebec has questioned four teenagers – calling them ‘important witnesses’ – concerning threats made against several schools in the Outaouais region last week.
It’s isn’t, however, connecting that line of questioning to the dozens of threats made against schools across Quebec Tuesday.
A total of 80 schools across Quebec were threatened, as well as several schools in Ontario. The threats forced the evacuation of at least a dozen schools as police searched the buildings, in the end turning up no evidence of anything dangerous.
Late last week, several schools and CEGEPs in the Ottawa and Gatineau region received anonymous bomb threats. The SQ announced Wednesday morning it was questioning four teenagers in connection with those threats.
“The Surete du Quebec is now questioning persons that are considered important witnesses in the events of October 29,” said interim Public Security Minister Pierre Moreau.
The four people questioned are minors from Wakefield, Chelsea, and L’Ange-Gardien, where a dozen schools were closed Wednesday because of a strike by support staff.
Moreau said the wave of threats made Tuesday were apparently made by a group that was upset with the strike action taken by unions in recent weeks, and by the million dollars the government of Ontario paid a high school teachers union as compensation for negotiations.
A group calling itself ‘Red Sceptre’ demanded an end to pressure tactics by teachers and their unions.
The schools were searched one by one, but nothing was discovered.
While the SQ remains tightlipped about how it is carrying out the investigation, cybersecurity expert Terry Cutler said it is becoming easier to track down somebody who sends an anonymous threat.
Terry Cutler, a so-called ‘ethical hacker,’ said the technology now used allows nearly everything to be traced.
“Even if he has an anonymous IP address, our system can scan the local IP addresses in his facility and actually triangle where he is,” said Cutler.