BREAKING NEWS
Advertising
This content is not available in your region

Bomb threat cited by Belarus was sent after plane was diverted - Swiss email provider

Access to the comments Comments
Email bomb threat sent after blogger's plane was diverted over Belarus - Swiss email provider
Email bomb threat sent after blogger's plane was diverted over Belarus - Swiss email provider   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2021
Text size Aa Aa

By Raphael Satter

WASHINGTON -A bomb threat cited by Belarusian authorities as the reason for forcing a Ryanair jetliner carrying a dissident journalist to land in Minsk was sent after the plane was diverted, privacy-focused email provider Proton Technologies AG said on Thursday.

The Belarusian authorities said they ordered the plane, which was in Belarusian airspace on its way from Greece to Lithuania, to land in the Belarusian capital on Sunday because of a bomb threat from the Islamist militant group Hamas.

Journalist Roman Protasevich and his girlfriend Sofia Sapega were arrested when the plane landed.

Hamas denied having any knowledge or connection to any bomb threat, and European leaders have accused Belarus of stat-sponsored piracy.

On Wednesday, the London-based research group Dossier Center published https://dossier.center/bel-hamas what it said was an email carrying the purported Hamas threat. The email was sent 24 minutes after the Belarusian authorities warned the plane’s crew there was a bomb threat, it showed.

The email’s timing was first reported by the Daily Beast https://www.thedailybeast.com/bomb-threat-cited-in-belarus-hijacking-came-24-minutes-after?ref=home?ref=home and Newlines magazine https://newlinesmag.com/reportage/lukashenkos-crazy-stupid-hamas-headfake.

Proton declined to comment on specifics of the message but confirmed it was sent after the plane was diverted.

“We haven’t seen credible evidence that the Belarusian claims are true,” the Swiss company said in a statement. “We will support European authorities in their investigations upon receiving a legal request.”

European leaders are drawing up new sanctions against Belarus over Sunday’s incident.

euronews provides breaking news articles from reuters as a service to its readers, but does not edit the articles it publishes. Articles appear on euronews.com for a limited time.