Gov’t mulls more sniffer dogs amid bomb threats surge

November 17, 2023

With tens of bomb threats stretching the country's emergency response teams to the limit, the government is contemplating augmenting its arsenal with more sniffer dogs.

National Security Minister Dr Horace Chang said, based on the recurring nature of the activities, the country's response teams will have to be bolstered. More than 80 institutions, including schools, business places, as well as a hospital and courthouse have been disrupted as a result of bomb threats over the last week. Chang said all the required resources in the security forces have been mobilised to identify and apprehend the perpretrators.

"We will have to, of course, get some additional resources, in particular the dogs, which are very effective in identifying if such explosive are in place," Chang said.

He said there is the need to "expand the teams and be prepared for any eventuality".

"Every call is taken seriously," he added.

More than 320 suspected explosive devices were recovered at a premise on Darling Street in the Kingston Western Police Division last month. At the time, security expert Robert Finzi-Smith told this newspaper that the devices, said to be pipe bombs, could cause "unimaginable" havoc.

"First, we need to find out the purpose why they were at the location.

"The shrapnel from them are very dangerous. Remember, we are dealing with metal, and what they usually do is pack the pipes with explosives, like ball bearings and screws and nails, and so on. When the pipe itself explodes, it will send out shrapnel and that is the cause of a great deal of wounds in a lot of wars. Just imagine a piece of pipe about two inches long being propelled by shock waves and it goes through you," he said.

The security forces are yet to locate any explosives in the series of hoax bomb threats. One man has been arrested and placed before the courts in connection with one of the incidents. He has pleaded not guilty.

Deputy Commissioner of Police Fitz Bailey said the series of bomb threats appear to be instigated by highly skilled individuals in the cyber domain.

"Our investigations indicate these threats are sophisticated, likely beyond the capabilities of novices," Bailey said.

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