On Friday, unknown persons announced in emails that they would bomb numerous Cypriot schools. “We will cut your throats” and “We will drown you in your blood,” they said. The police classified the message as threats with an Islamist background. Police spokesman Christos Andreou confirmed on Cypriot radio that the email was sent to almost all primary and secondary schools and also to some kindergartens.

“We carried out the evacuation calmly. No explosive device has been discovered so far,” said Andreou. Many frightened parents took their children out of schools, the media reported.

The email was published in numerous media outlets. The authors referred to Islamic law (Sharia), which according to their understanding calls for the punishment of all unbelievers, it said. According to police, the threat was written in poor Greek and suggested an online translation. Experts from the security authorities and the Interior Ministry are now trying to find out where the emails were sent from.

It initially remained unclear why Cyprus, of all places, should be exposed to Islamist threats. The small EU island republic is home to many Israeli citizens, but also many refugees from the Middle East. Nicosia maintains good connections with both Israel and the Arab world. At the request of the Cypriot government, relief supplies have been repeatedly sent by ship to the suffering population in the Gaza Strip in recent months.