Security measures, including police patrols, were stepped up on the MRT Taoyuan Airport Line after a bomb threat on Friday.
Authorities said that the threat, sent via e-mail to Taoyuan Metro Corp from an IP address in the Netherlands, was likely made by a former Chinese exchange student named Zhang Haichuan (張海川).
Police said the threat was likely politically motivated, citing the e-mail as demanding that the government refuse to receive Swiss lawmakers who are scheduled to arrive today for a delegation visit.
Police said Zhang is suspected to have sent three bomb threats this week.
He was previously enrolled in a graduate program at a Taiwanese university, but now lives in an unknown location abroad, police added.
The e-mail was sent via a virtual private network, but investigators determined that it was sent from a location in the Netherlands, police said.
The e-mail warned that if the government receives the delegation, a gasoline-based bomb would be detonated at Taipei Main Station, the northern terminus of the MRT line connecting Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, police said.
The detonation would pose “serious danger” to people at the station, police cited the e-mail as saying.
Police said security measures had been increased at all stations of the line.
More officers had been deployed to patrol the stations, while MRT staff were put on alert for potential threats, they said.
Police officers and MRT staff were seen checking trash cans, lockers and restrooms, while passengers were asked via loudspeaker to pay increased attention to unattended luggage and suspicious activity.
Those who see any suspicious activity should report it to station staff or press emergency buttons on the trains, the announcements said.
MRT officials in Taipei said they had received two similar bomb threats.
They also came via similarly worded e-mails from the Netherlands, making Zhang their likely author, they said.
Since the beginning of the year, Zhang had allegedly sent six threats, including to the Taiwan Railways Administration, police said.
However, his previous threats said a person would use an unspecified weapon to carry out attacks on train passengers, police said.
While studying in Taiwan in 2021, Zhang allegedly also threatened a female classmate he was romantically interested in, but who did not reciprocate his advances. An investigation into the threats by Taichung prosecutors allegedly prompted him to leave the country.
Investigators said he might have developed grudges against Taiwan since then.
Taoyuan Mayor Simon Chang (張善政) said increased patrols would ensure safety on the MRT system.
“MRT passengers can feel safe,” he said.
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