HOAX bomb calls causing chaos in Victorian schools have been traced to an elite high school.
Victoria Police is tracking the “anonymous cowards” responsible for terrifying calls, which have led to the evacuation of at least 20 schools across the state.
Education sources told the Herald Sun police had established that a number of calls made on Friday have been linked to Nossal High School, at Monash University’s Berwick campus.
Police are believed to be checking whether the school’s telecommunications were compromised.
One line of inquiry is the possibility the hoaxer used an identification spoofing service to make it appear that the calls were made from the school.
Premier Daniel Andrews told 3AW police were doing “great work” on investigating the calls and hoped to identify the culprits soon.
Seventeen Victorian schools were evacuated or locked down after further chilling threats of bombings and shootings were called in.
Victoria Police was unable to rule out some of the calls being made from Nossal.
The Education Department directed the selective-entry state school not to comment until the police inquiry was over.
Victoria Police said it was treating the calls as a hoax not linked to terrorism.
News.com.au reports calls have been placed to schools in NSW, Queensland and Canberra, causing major disruption for students, staff and police.
Authorities are grappling with how to respond to them.
Do they ignore the calls and quietly carry out an internal investigation without a full-scale evacuation? Or treat each and every one seriously and get everyone out as quickly as possible?
Yesterday there were more calls made, more threats, and more disruption — and that’s exactly what the people making them want.
Nick O’Brien, the associate professor of counter-terrorism at Charles Sturt University, told news.com.au the aim of their game was disruption and spreading fear.
The obvious danger was if they did nothing — and there was a bomb — lives could be lost.
“The fact is though terrorists very rarely forewarn of any attacks. The IRA [used to], but they did that purely for disruptive reasons.”
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