21:50 / 12.06.2022.

Author: Katja Miličić

Fake bomb threats shut down Zagreb shopping malls

Police search shopping malls for bombs

Police search shopping malls for bombs

Foto: Dnevnik u podne / HRT

A series of bomb threats forced police to evacuate four Zagreb shopping malls Sunday morning. 

Luckily, all of them turned out to be fake. It began at 9:30 with City Center One East, then Supernova and Garden Mall. An hour later, the Designers Outlet by Ikea was cleared out, followed by Arena Centar. A sweep of the areas by police determined fairly quickly that it was safe for mall employees and shoppers to return.

Police said they received 11 bomb threats in total. This is the latest in a series of fake bomb threats in the capital in recent months. Mayor Tomislav Tomašević called for tough punishment for the perpetrators. Reporting a false bomb threat in Croatia carries a sentence of up to five years in prison.

“I expect police to determine who is making them. This is a crime. It is unsettling to the public and whoever is responsible should face severe punishment,” said Tomašević.

According to unconfirmed reports, the threats were sent from an email address from a Russian domain. Tech expert Marko Rakar says that in such cases it is very difficult to trace the email back to the sender.

“Despite the fact that we know where the email came from, these servers are often in jurisdictions to which we have no access - Russia, Asia, Latin American countries - and there is no contact between Croatian law enforcement and law enforcement in those countries. On the other hand, even if we do determine the IP address used to access the anonymous email service the sender could have used additional tools to hide where the message is really coming from," Rakar told HRT.

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