Helsinki, Finland: A third school massacre prevented
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22 people killed and 14 injured in school shootings in Finland since 1989.
- In January 1989, in Rauma, a fourteen year old student shot and killed two of his classmates, one was also injured.
- In November 2007, in Tuusula, the first school massacre in Scandinavia took place. 18 year old Pekka-Eric Auvinen shot and killed 9 persons and injured 12. He committed suicide after the killings.
- In September 2008, in Kauhajoki, 22 year old Matti Saari shot and killed 11 persons and injured 1. He also committed suicide after the killings.
- In January 20th this year the plan below was made to randomly kill 50 students at Helsinki University. It never happened…
The suspects (a man “Josef Andrei Hannu” and a woman “Nita-Minttu Tirkkonen”, both 24 years of age) allegedly initially met online using the anonymity service Tor as early as December 23rd 2012. They reportedly discussed the plan ““for the mass murder of at least 50 people, chosen randomly.”” using encrypted emails but never actually met until shortly before the planned attack at the beginning of the year.
The pair tried to recruit a third party, a 17 year old girl to join their plot. The girl told an acquaintance who informed officials of the deadly scheme. It is supposed that they discussed the massacre all the time from Dec 2012 until March 8 when the police arrested them.
The pair had in their possession materials for carrying out their intentions: a crossbow, ammunition, knives, gas masks and equipment for making poisonous gas. The pair also planned to steal more weapons from a Helsinki gun shop and then walk to the university campus and begin killing anyone they encountered. They also planned to prepare highly-lethal arsine gas at the university and to start fires and lock doors in order to hinder rescue efforts.
They face a charge that has never been used in Finnish law before: preparing for an aggravated crime against others’ lives or health.
Hannu told the court he had been bullied at school and started thinking about an attack after two school shootings in 2007 and 2008 in Finland that killed 20 people. He also had images of last year’s Boston Marathon bombings on his computer.
Court papers described how the disillusioned pair met over the Internet in 2012, discussed their hatred toward society and exchanged details about mass murders in encrypted emails.
The young man (Hannu) kept his head covered with a hood in court. The young woman (Nita-Minttu), her head uncovered, waved and smiled at the media cameras, made an apparent Nazi salute. Her lawyer pulled her arm down and told her loudly to control herself.
The pair were given sentences of three years in prison. It is believed that they will file an appeal.
University officials weigh security risks. Senior officials and security staff at the University are discussing recent threats against the institution amid three ongoing criminal investigations. (Learn about – Risk/Threat Assessment Training)
Here we can see the importance of acting when the early warning signs pops up. Too many people avoid acting when there is signs of mayhem. For different reasons, but, as was the case now in Finland, a 17 year old girl reacts and tell a friend who goes to the authorities. Unravelling a massacre plot, saving lives of maybe 50 people.
Our own safety is our own responsibility, other people safety can be our responsibility if it is needed.
School Safety Professional
Author of Safe Schools, notice early warning signs and prevent violence
So What do we do? How do you help or possible prevent these events? Let Keys’-Europe Help!!