A 13-year-old in western France is currently under police questioning in connection with a staggering 380 false bomb threats targeting airports, courthouses, and universities across the country.
The adolescent, believed to suffer from behavioural issues, was apprehended on Monday and now faces multiple charges, including providing false information about impending destruction and making death threats.
French authorities report a significant increase in hoax threats since the fall of 2023, with the recent incident in Rennes leading investigators to a family of four from Laval, 45 miles away.
While the parents and one child were swiftly excluded from the investigation and released, the youngest child, a 13-year-old, admitted to making numerous bomb threats. The minor is currently held in custody.
According to local prosecutor Philippe Astruc, the teenager confessed to making the threats “as a game” with no apparent political or religious motivation.
The young individual reportedly used a foreign VPN to conceal their IP address, requiring technical police work and international cooperation to trace the origin.
This incident sheds light on a concerning trend, prompting France’s Justice Ministry to reveal that 192 investigations into false bomb threats have been opened, with around 30 resulting in charges, mostly against minors or young adults.
Notably, most of these threats did not reference the situation in the Middle East or other international events.
In late 2023, during heightened tensions between Israel and Hamas, scores of bomb threats were reported against airports, museums, and schools in France.
However, the current investigation suggests that the motives behind the recent surge in false bomb threats may be rooted more in misguided amusement than ideological or political affiliations.
As authorities work to address this wave of false threats, the incident underscores the need for vigilance in monitoring and responding to such activities, primarily when carried out by minors.
The Justice Ministry continues its efforts to ensure the safety and security of institutions amid these challenging circumstances.
This article was created using automation technology and was thoroughly edited and fact-checked by one of our editorial staff members