Leiden Suspect Arrested
The police have confirmed the arrest of a minor in connection with a shooting threat at a school in Leiden.
Suspect has mental problems
The police have not given details about the arrest as the role of the suspect is not clear yet. “It is possible that he is not the one,” said the police.
The suspect was a former pupil of The British School in Voorschoten, a suburb of Leiden. The management of The British School said in a statement that the accused was dismissed from the school after misconduct in October 2011. He had not been at the school for over a year. The British School has offices in The Hague and Voorschoten.
The boy, who is suspected of involvement in the threat made via the Internet, is known to Youth Care (Jeugdzorg) according to Omroep West. Jeugdzorg says that the arrested boy is leaning towards voluntary assistance, which involves, in the rule, young people with mental health difficulties.
About twenty high schools and MBOs in Leiden were closed on Monday. The police was on high alert after a threat on the Internet of a possible school shooting in a school. Because it was unclear which school would be the target, it was decided to close, temporarily, all high schools and MBOs.
The Rijnlands Lyceum in Oegstgeest was also closed on Monday due to the threat, although it not clear why exactly the school did so since Oegstgeest is a neighboring municipality of Leiden.
The primary schools in Leiden were not closed on Monday but less occupied than usual. Primary schools in Leiden became extra careful, with some schools choosing to keep kids inside and organizing additional supervision.
The tip about the threat of a shooting at a school in Leiden came from the police from Zurich, Zwitserland, who tipped the Dutch police. Because the message was placed on an American site, there was also contact with the U.S. Federal Criminal Police Bureau, according to Mayor Henri Lenferink.
The message was put on the bulletin board 4chan in English. The literal text reads:
"Tomorrow, I will shoot my English teacher, and as many students as I can. It will be on the news tomorrow. It's a school in a dutch city called Leiden, and for more proof, I will be using a 9mm Colt Defender. I will be carrying a note with me when I go into the school which will explain why I did it. If the message of the note will not be published, a friend of mine will post it here on 4chan a day later. Oh, and I'm using a proxy, the police is not gonna find me before tomorrow."
It is not the first time that a Dutchman posted threats on 4chan. In March 2009, an 18-year old man from Rijsbergen posted a message on that site that there would be a shooting at a school in Breda. The cops tracked the young man. When arrested, he confessed and said it meant as a joke. In 2009, EénVandaag discovered the message on the American internet forum and alerted the police.
Tuesday schools open again
High schools and MBOs in Leiden reopened on Tuesday. However, the police remain in a heightened state of alert. According to Mayor Henri Lenferink, the threat is less severe than previously estimated. Following advise from experts, the threat level has been lowered. Lenferink said the decision to close the school was not an over-reaction. “It was a dilemma,” said the mayor. On Tuesday, agents were present at all high schools and MBOs.