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Anonymous Poster On Social Media Threatens Shooting Spree In The Netherlands

posted 22 Apr 2013, 14:29 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 22 Apr 2013, 14:30 ]

Dutch police detain a former student and close dozens of schools after shooting threat posted on the message board of a social media website.

BRUSSELSBELGIUM (APRIL 22, 2013) (REUTERS) -  Dozens of schools in the Netherlands were closed on Monday (April 22) and thousands of students stayed at home after an anonymous poster on social media threatened a shooting spree at a school in the city of Leiden.

The threat originally posted on U.S. internet forum 4chan read: "I will shoot my Dutch teacher and as many students as I can."

The post also showed a picture of a pistol. The post was later removed from 4chan, but links to a screen shot of the post appeared on various Dutch forums.

More than 20 secondary schools in the city of Leiden stayed closed on Monday, with tight police presence outside some schools.

"We were supposed to have class today around four and I got an email this morning saying that the class was cancelled because of the threat, and I am fromConnecticut, and actually we just had a shooting on the western side of the state, so it was kind of surprising to see that it happened here, although luckily nothing happened," said Virginia Winslow, an American living in Leiden.

The famous University of Leiden, the oldest in the Netherlands, was kept open with word of the threat making its way into discussions among students who questioned the credibility of the post.

"It is difficult to say because someone can post something anonymously with the idea to hurt people for real, or just as a joke and we can't really know which one it was, until it happens, right?" said one student Richard Grul.

"So many things are being said on internet and it's really difficult to find the criminals behind everything that is being said on internet, so I doubt if anyone will ever be held responsible," another student Willeke De Visser said.

Police on Monday detained a former student of the British School in the Netherlandsin Leiden on suspicion of making the threat, the police force said.

Officials in Leiden and at the British School could not be reached for comment.