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DOTr probes e-mail bomb threat

Ghio Ong - The Philippine Star
DOTr probes e-mail bomb threat
A screenshot shows a bomb threat purportedly sent by a Japanese lawyer yesterday morning.

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation (DOTr) yesterday formed an inter-agency task force to investigate an e-mail message claiming that a bomb was planted in a rail system in Metro Manila.

A certain Takahiro Karasawa with email address [email protected], who introduced himself as a “Japanese lawyer,” warned that he “set a high-performance bomb in a Metro Manila Rail Transit System facility,” according to a screenshot of the message shared by the management of the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3).

“Those bombs will explode at approximately 3:34 p.m. on Sept. 8,” he wrote.

“For the sake of world peace, a lot of people will die. To destroy the Philippine government, this time it will be done. I’m watching the 20 years later of you,” Karasawa added.

He also wrote the following: “Power to a voiceless voice. Love to a loveless epoch. Let there be a new epoch.”

The sender delivered the message to the Records Section of the Bureau of Plant Industry ([email protected]) at 5:02 a.m. yesterday.

News outlets in South Korea reported bomb threats e-mailed by the same sender last month.

The DOTr, which manages the MRT-3, said it activated the inter-agency task force composed of its Office for Transportation Security, Department of Information and Communications Technology  Cybercrime Investigation Coordinating Center, Philippine National Police and Railway Security.

Officials of these agencies, including those from the Quezon City Police District, inspected the MRT-3’s North Avenue station “to assess and ensure the safety and security of the MRT-3 system for its continued operation.”

“The task force assured the public that all actions are being taken to ensure safe and secure travel in all public transport systems,” the MRT-3 said.

Before 6 p.m. yesterday, the MRT-3 reported that it “has not detected any trace of any items that might constitute a threat to the traveling public.”

The rail line called on the public to report any suspicious activities to authorities.

Almost 23 years ago, a bomb blast at the Light Railway Transit Line 1’s Blumentritt station on Rizal Day left 22 people dead.

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