Four teens charged in threats that targeted scores of Ontario and Quebec schools

Four teens charged in threats that targeted scores of Ontario and Quebec schools

Main pic: A Montreal police cruiser is shown outside the Lester B. Pearson School Board office in Montreal Tuesday, November 3, 2015, where a number of bomb threats have been made against schools across the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes.

MONTREAL — Four teens from western Quebec charged over threats against schools in their area now are accused in connection with a spate of bomb threats against schools in Quebec and Ontario earlier this week.

Quebec provincial police Capt. Guy Lapointe said Thursday that each of the teens now faces charges of uttering threats, conspiracy and conveying false messages.

They were charged at the provincial courthouse in Gatineau, Que., across the river from Ottawa.

Lapointe says no explosive devices were found in the search of nearly 80 primary and secondary schools and junior colleges after threatening emails were sent Tuesday.

Quebec’s acting Public Security Minister, Pierre Moreau, identified the group as “Red Sceptre”, unknown to authorities.

Emails were sent to each institution and some school boards.

They all contained similar messages suggesting that bombs were being set to go off at specific times, implying the complicity of school employees.

“Among all the searches that were conducted in all the different establishments, no device, no suspicious elements were found,” Lapointe said.

The teens — three boys and a girl aged 16 and 17 years old — were arrested Wednesday on mischief charges in connection with threats that took place one week ago in schools in the Gatineau and Ottawa area.

Lapointe says provincial police now are linking the four teens to the larger threat this week.

The teens hail from the western Quebec communities of Wakefield, Chelsea and L’Ange-Gardien and Lapointe said they were acquainted with each other.

An investigation continues and police say other arrests could be made.

Lapointe said he couldn’t say more about a motive.

On Tuesday, Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard called the threats “disgusting” and “cowardly.”

Schools were subjected to searches in various cities in Quebec as well as Toronto and North Bay, Ont.

The Canadian Press

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