Bomb threat caller still unidentified, Tallinn Airport to remain on heightened alert through Monday
Speaking at a government press conference on Thursday, Estonian Minister of the Interior Hanno Pevkur said that it would be determined this upcoming Monday whether or not it would be necessary to further extend the heightened state of alert at Lennart Meri Tallinn Airport following a called-in bomb threat made during the early hours of Monday, July 25.
Pevkur stated the government press conference that the police are continuing to investigate various scenarios related to the individual who called in the bomb threat on Monday.
"We are trying to assess the risks day by day, and our next assessment will be on Monday," said the minister. "Until then we will maintain a heightened state of alert at the airport."
He added that the police are doing everything they can to find and identify the caller. "Whoever this person was, they were knowledgeable enough to conceal their act — they have known how to take advantage of one or another opportunity in order to make their discovery as difficult as possible," admitted Pevkur.
Sometime after 2 a.m. early on Monday morning, Tallinn Airport and Estonia's Internal Security Service (KaPo) received calls from a man calling himself a member of the Islamic State group, or Daesh, who announced his intention to blow up a plane en route from Tallinn to Germany within a week. The calls were made in English, from an Estonian cell phone number located on Estonian territory.
Immediately after receiving the call, the police conducted an extra security check in Tallinn Airport and on its outbound flights. Security measures at the airport were stepped up as well.
The KaPo immediately opened a criminal investigation into the threat against aviation safety, the proceeding of which will be directed by the Office of the Prosecutor General. State Prosecutor Inna Ombler noted that they did not have any other information indicative of imminent danger beyond the phone call, however they took all such threats seriously.
"Although Daesh has not given advance warning of its attacks, we're stepping up security measures and have begun an operation to capture the person who made the threat," KaPo Deputy Director Aleksander Toots said on Monday.
The increased security presence at the airport is not expected to require more time of airport passengers, and all flights are currently departing from Tallinn Airport on schedule. Passengers can expect an increased visible presence at the airport in the form of police K9 units patrolling together with their trained police dogs.