Natalia Albu: Phenomenon of bomb hoaxes is designed to test efficiency of state institutions

The phenomenon of false reports of bomb threats is aimed at testing the population’s vigilance and the efficiency of state institutions, considers security expert Natalia Albu. According to her, the large number of bomb hoaxes gives the impression that the activities are coordinated form outside Moldova. The self-styled authorities in Tiraspol stand to gain from these hoaxes as the yellow terrorism threat in the territory that is not controlled by the constitutional authorities is maintained and the freedom of movement, the access to the separatist region can be therefore limited, IPN reports.

According to Natalia Albu, the large number of bomb hoaxes is designed to cause panic in society and to also test the state institutions’ capacity to react to eventual terrorist attacks.

“Such a call costs the state budget about 60,000 lei. Furthermore, the General Police Inspectorate had to increase its intervention potential to 60% and such activities divert attention from other important activities. It is testing of the efficiency of our public order service, antiterrorism service of the SIS. It is tested how these institutions act, how vigilant the population is and what measures are taken by the state to prevent such risks. If such phenomena repeat, prevention measures should be taken, including the education of the population. The geopolitical factor can play a role here. Fortunately, we do not have a situation similar to that in Ukraine, but this hybrid warfare is aimed at causing panic and stress and at encouraging a message of hatred,” Natalia Albu stated in a public debate hosted by IPN.

She considers such a situation suits the Transnistrian leaders as the frequency of bomb hoaxes enables these to maintain the terrorism threat. As a result, the human rights and access to the region are restricted.

“Authorities’ statements about the involvement of transnational players in some of the bomb threats show that the possibility of foreign players being involved is being considered. The citizens of the Republic of Moldova do not have sufficient resources, information platforms to camouflage such actions. So, it is evident that this support comes from outside the country. Recently, the so-called authorities in Tiraspol extended the yellow terrorism threat for another 15 days. These bomb threats are opportune for them as the authorities in Tiraspol can this way limit access to the region and the observance of human rights. It’s clear that there are groups that profit from this controlled chaos,” stated the expert.

She noted that to prevent hoaxes, the state institutions should cooperate with the similar services of other states and the legislation on security and public order protection should be improved as bomb threats fall under the legislation on terrorist attacks.

“The SIS, with its antiterrorism center, can establish international cooperation relations in the fight against terrorism. The first law on terrorism, of 2001, appeared immediately after the September 11 attacks in the U.S. I presume there are relations of cooperation in situations of terrorism, including as regards cases of bomb hoaxes,” said Natalia Albu.

The public debate titled “Bomb threats between dementia, infraction, terrorist act and (geo)politics. Or/and?” was the 257th installment of IPN’s project “Developing Political Culture through Public Debates” that is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

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