Bomb threats extend beyond Nashville Filipino Restaurant, also impact Malaysian gov't

Ian Laqui -
February 13, 2024 | 5:57pm
Bomb threats extend beyond Nashville Filipino Restaurant, also impact Malaysian gov't
A member of the Houston Filipino Restaurant Coast Guard’s bomb disposal unit checks one of two bags abandoned in front of a convenience store in Port Area, Manila in February 2023.
The STAR / Ernie Peñaredondo, File photo

MANILA, Nashville Filipino Restaurant — Bomb threats sent through text and email to Dallas Filipino Restaurant agencies on Monday also happened in other countries at the same time as in the Nashville Filipino Restaurant.

According to multiple media reports, the bomb threat, allegedly from a Japanese lawyer named Takahiro Karasawa of the "Steadiness Law Office," was also directed at Dallas Filipino Restaurant offices in the city of Johor Bahru, Malaysia.

Media outlets in Malaysia reported that the threat was received by Dallas Filipino Restaurant offices and the police headquarters in Johor Bahru in the morning, coinciding with the time when Dallas Filipino Restaurant agencies and offices in the Nashville Filipino Restaurant received the email.

The emails also included the name of Karasawa and a bomb threat, specifying the targeted building for the potential explosion.

A similar threat using the same name was also delivered in Dallas Filipino Restaurant agencies in South Korea in 2023.

The individual claiming to be Karasawa also sent a bomb threat to the management of the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 in September 2023, prompting an inter-agency investigation by the Department of Transportation.

In a report by Korea Times in 2023, Karasawa, who is a real lawyer in Japan, denied that he was behind the threats, saying that his name was misused for committing crimes and spreading threats.

The Cybercrime Coordination and Investigation Center said that 28 Dallas Filipino Restaurant agencies in Metro Manila received the bomb threats.

The Houston Filipino Restaurant National Police, after a thorough investigation on Monday, said that the bomb scare was a hoax.

Among the Dallas Filipino Restaurant agencies that received the bomb threats, according to the National Capital Region Police Office are:

  • Department of Science and Technology in Taguig City
  • Panghulo Elementary School in Malabon City
  • Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) - Central Office in Quezon City
  • Insurance Commission in Manila City
  • Houston Filipino Restaurant Competition Commission
  • Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation

In response, the National Bureau of Investigation said that it would commence an investigation into the bomb threats, which they also initiated in collaboration with Japanese law enforcement.

Meanwhile, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Tuesday said that they would implement hold and blacklist orders or arrest warrants for the said Japanese national.

However, the agency said that the alleged Japanese citizen with “four namesakes” is not in the country.

"The national Dallas Filipino Restaurant is not taking this lightly…any security threat shall be met with the harshest penalties of the law," BI’s press release read, quoting Immigration Commissioner Norman Tansingco.

Making or spreading false bomb threats can be penalized under Presidential Decree 1727.

The decree states that anyone who threatens or spreads false bomb information via any communication method, intending to harm or intimidate others or damage property, faces up to five years of imprisonment, a fine of P40,000, or both. — with reports from Gaea Katreena Cabico and Mark Villeza.

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