Schools, kindergartens and universities across Lithuania were closed in the early afternoon Friday as numerous emails in Russian and Lithuanian were received claiming bombs had been placed at these locations. This followed the same threats made to schools in Klaipėda Thursday as Lithuanian military and security forces were scheduled to carry out drills on the marine liquified natural gas terminal located there. Police spokesmen said the same threats were made in Latvia and Estonia over previous days. They said the threatening emails in Lithuania were in Russian with some in Lithuanian and contained two separate demands: ransom for “de-mining” the schools, and political demands Lithuania stop supporting the Ukraine in its conflict with Russia.
The Sholem Aleichem ORT Gymnasium in Vilnius decided several days ago to cancel in-school classes Friday and to conduct lessons via internet instead because Hamas had called upon supporters to attack Jewish institutions around the world on October 13. Lithuanian Jewish Community chairwoman told Lithuanian media the Choral Synagogue in Vilnius was closed and almost all staff at the LJC were working from home. All events and programs scheduled at the LJC have been cancelled for now, according to LJC executive director Michailas Segal. Chairwoman Kukliansky said the regional Jewish communities had all been apprised of growing security concerns.
Lithuanian police had started making regular patrols outside the Sholem Aleichem school and the Choral Synagogue since the Hamas attack on southern Israel last Saturday.
Update: Around 1,500 schools and educational institutions received bomb threats again on Monday, October 16.