Ex-pupil of British School in the Netherlands held over shooting threat

Student's post said he planned to 'shoot my Dutch teacher and as many students as I can'

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 23 April, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 23 April, 2013, 3:19am


Dutch police yesterday arrested a former pupil at a British school in the Netherlands in connection with a threat to go on a shooting spree that saw armed police deployed and schools closed.

Police in the university city of Leiden, just northeast of The Hague, confirmed that a person had been arrested after the threat to "shoot my Dutch teacher and as many students as I can" was posted online at the weekend.

"Someone was arrested in connection with the threat and we're continuing our investigations," said a police spokeswoman, declining to give a name.

The British School in the Netherlands said: "We have been informed that a former student … has been arrested in connection to threats made against a Dutch school in Leiden."

The school - in Voorschoten, between Leiden and The Hague - said the pupil was expelled in October 2011 "after incidents regarding his behaviour and has therefore not attended the school for over a year".

Authorities in Leiden decided late on Sunday night to close secondary schools to thousands of pupils after a tip-off by Swiss police following the threat.

The anonymous message was posted in English on the US-based online forum

"It's at a school in the Dutch city of Leiden" it said, chillingly adding: "For more proof, I will be using a 9mm Colt Defender."

It ended: "Oh, and I'm using a proxy, the police is not gonna find me before tomorrow."

Leiden Mayor Henri Lenferink told the Dutch broadcaster NOS that "we received a report via the police in Zurich, who saw the posting on the internet and gave it through to the police in Leiden".

"They tried to establish who placed the text, but that was not immediately successful. There has also been and still is contact with the FBI in the United States" to see if the person can be traced, Lenferink said.

He said after running out of time, the decision was taken to close the schools, because "if you can't find the perpetrator or know exactly which school is being targeted, only that it's a school in Leiden … you have to do something."