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School searched in remote Russian city after teenager threatens COPYCAT ATTACK based on horror Kazan shooting that left nine dead

School searched in remote Russian city after teenager threatens COPYCAT ATTACK based on horror Kazan shooting that left nine dead
Classes were cut short on Thursday at a school in Russia’s Far East, as a terrifying message emerged online threatening a repeat of a bloody assault that left seven students and two teachers dead in the city of Kazan this week.

The mayor of Blagoveshchensk, which is located across the Amur river from China, issued a statement on Thursday warning the public. Oleg Imameev said, “School No. 27 has been alerted to an emergency situation. An inspection is underway and all state services are working on the issue,” adding, “Children have been sent home for the time being, and the situation is completely under control.” He urged people to avoid speculation.

A source told Interfax that the panic had been sparked by posts online. “A young person using one of the social networks where the events in Kazan were being discussed threatened to do the same,” the news agency’s source said. “The police are already dealing with him.”

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Amurskaya Pravda, a news group based in the region, has since unearthed the comments said to have triggered the response from officials. An account named ‘God is your judgement’, echoing the one used by the Kazan gunman, posted a message in which the school was singled out and appeared to threaten a copycat attack planned for Thursday.

The local authorities issued a statement later that day in which they said security forces had determined the identity of the citizen who posted the false information. “The attacker was detained at his place of residence by a task force consisting of police and FSB [Federal Security Service] officers. He turned out to be a 17-year-old resident,” it read, adding that a criminal case had been initiated.

The governor of the Amur Region, Vasily Orlov, has since said he has ordered an “analysis of the moral and psychological wellbeing of pupils and students.” In a statement, he assured the region’s residents that “the level of anti-terrorist security of institutions, fire safety, the performance of video surveillance systems, burglar alarms and access control systems will also be checked.”

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19-year-old Ilnaz Galyaviev opened fire at School No. 175 in Kazan on Tuesday morning, killing nine people and leaving over a dozen more with injuries. A former student at the school, he made a series of online posts in which he declared, “I am like a God” and that he was plotting to wipe out life on Earth. He was detained by prosecutors and is being held pending a trial.

In the aftermath of the attack, one of Russia’s top lawmakers, Speaker of the State Duma Vyacheslav Volodin, told journalists that proposals to toughen legislation around internet anonymity needed to be discussed “to prevent teenagers getting into online communities that distort realities and lead to violence and suicide.” He added that “according to supporters of the idea, this would reduce the amount of content that advocates violence or glorifies extremism many times over.”

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