Most of the fake bomb threats that terrorized Russia this fall came from Syria, Russia’s Interior Ministry said on Tuesday.
Starting in September, more than two million people were evacuated from malls, schools and government buildings as a result of the anonymous phone calls, the Interfax news agency reported. Moscow city authorities announced last month that the evacuations led to millions of dollars in losses.
“Most of the phone calls came from places with [high] concentrations of terrorists in Syria,” Deputy Interior Minister Igor Zubov was cited by Interfax as saying. He said that the calls also came from Turkey, Ukraine, the United States, Canada, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.
“In terms of the intensity [of the calls], we can say that this was a cyber-attack against Russia,” Zubov said.
Earlier this month, Russian police shut down an illegal mobile network operator that was linked to the calls.
Throughout Russia, more than 2,500 criminal cases have been opened in connection with the fake calls, the deputy minister said.