Three universities get terrorist threats, two evacuate campuses

posted at 12:41 pm on September 14, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Has the Islamist rage aimed at US embassies abroad started to reach into the heartland of America?  Three separate universities report receiving threats this morning, prompting evacuations in Texas, North Dakota, and an investigation in Indiana. Let’s start with the University of Texas, where the threat was explicit about a tie to al-Qaeda:

Threatening caller spurs UT evacuation

The University of Texas is evacuating all of its buildings due to threats on campus after a caller claiming to be with al-Qaida said he placed bombs all over campus that would go off around 10 a.m. — which has since passed.

“Immediately evacuate ALL buildings and get as far away as possible,” read a message posted at 9:53 a.m. on the campus’ emergency alert website. “More information to come.”

UT Director of Communications Rhonda Weldon said the university got a call around 8:35 a.m. from a male with a Middle Eastern accent claiming to have placed bombs all over campus.

He said he was with al-Qaida and that these bombs would go off in 90 minutes.

North Dakota State followed shortly thereafter:

Students at North Dakota State University in Fargo and the University of Texas in Austin have been ordered to evacuate their respective campuses this morning because of bomb threats.

There was no indication that the two events were connected.

This alert was posted on NDSU’s website:

“NDSU is requiring all employees and students to leave campus by 10:15 a.m. This includes residence hall students, who, if necessary, should walk to locations off campus. This also includes the downtown buildings and agricultural facilities. NDSU received a bomb threat, prompting this evacuation. Updates will follow.”

At Valparaiso University in Indiana, the threat was left as a graffiti message, but no evacuation was apparently ordered:

The alert, posted early Friday, says “an unspecific threat to campus was made through a graffiti message alluding to dangerous and criminal activity alleged to be carried out during the chapel break period on Friday.

“The broad threat provided no details with respect to location or type. Please be on alert and report any suspicious activity to VUPD immediately by calling 911 or 464-5430.”

VUPD, local authorizes and the FBI investigated the threat and a thorough human and canine search of campus did not find anything suspicious, a later release said.

Fortunately, no attacks have come to pass, at least not yet.  These are likely efforts to create a little fear on the cheap, taking advantage of the unrest on the other side of the world.  Real AQ attacks don’t usually involve any warnings, certainly not specific warnings that allow civilians to get out of the line of fire.  The purpose of AQ attacks is usually to create as many civilian deaths as possible. Of course, this could be a way to test defenses, too, to adapt to American countermeasures, although there wouldn’t be much point of that if no warnings precede attacks.

I’m guessing that these are hoaxes, but that doesn’t mean that the perpetrators should be discounted.  The FBI and the courts need to make examples of them, if so.

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TYPO: “not” on trial.

avagreen on September 14, 2012 at 3:35 PM

Statfor has given me permission to repost any of their material for at-large consumption. I received this last night. There are links embedded in the original article.

Over the past several weeks, we have discussed a number of different situations that can present a common problem to people caught up in them. First, we discussed how domestic terrorism remains a persistent threat in the United States, and that despite improvements in security measures since 2001, soft targets still remain vulnerable to attack by terrorist actors driven by a variety of motivations. Due to the devolution of the jihadist threat toward the grassroots, there is also a growing trend of jihadist actors using armed assaults instead of bombing attacks. We also discussed the continuing problem of workplace violence, and finally, we discussed last week evacuation plans for expatriates due to natural disaster, civil unrest or war….

avagreen on September 14, 2012 at 3:38 PM

MEANWHILE, our credit rating is downgraded ONCE AGAIN, to AA- !!!
Another feather for Preezy’s cap !!
More Mitt ammo.

pambi on September 14, 2012 at 3:49 PM

I’m back again for a quick post.

If you’ve thought it just can’t get any worse today, take a look at this from (Warning: Gag inducing.)

Shame: Obama canoodles, tweets to hawk sweatshirts as coffins of 4 killed in Libya attack arrive
Posted at 3:27 pm on September 14, 2012 by Twitchy Staff

GrannyDee on September 14, 2012 at 3:53 PM

LOL, Granny !
I just popped back to post the exact same thing
‘sadly’, timestamps don’t lie.
His tweeter should perhaps pay a bit closer attention.
What coldness !!

pambi on September 14, 2012 at 4:02 PM

LOL, Granny !
I just popped back to post the exact same thing
‘sadly’, timestamps don’t lie.
His tweeter should perhaps pay a bit closer attention.
What coldness !!
pambi on September 14, 2012 at 4:02 PM

He isn’t. Why should they.

Jabberwock on September 14, 2012 at 4:05 PM

Pambi, did you read this comment at Twitchy?

What is wrong with Obama and the Mrs? Oh, never mind. I know the answer.

SighSMH • 25 minutes ago

Well that’s about what I would expect. Check out the tweet last night from Michelle Obama while our Embassy in Egypt, Yemen, Libya and all over the Middle East are being burned:
Michelle Obama [email protected] deadline: The President is heading to New York for an evening with Jay-Z and Beyoncé—be their guests. http://OFA.BO/oKVCVt

My response:@MichelleObama Our country is in crisis or haven’t u noticed??? JOBS!!! Your husband should take his head out if his ass and do his job!!!

GrannyDee on September 14, 2012 at 4:08 PM

Has the Islamist rage aimed at US embassies abroad started to reach into the heartland of America?

Let’s start panicking people!

tommyhawk on September 14, 2012 at 4:08 PM

The Texas bomb threat sounds phony to me. Al Qaeda is in the killing business, not in the warning business. Have you ever heard of them warning people that a car bomb is going to go off in say, such and such a time. Everybody in the world knows that we have a government that is afraid of it’s own shadow and not enough backbone to do anything about it. How about a threat of our own, the next embassy attacked in the middle east, that city will be sprayed with pigs blood by our aircraft.

savage24 on September 14, 2012 at 5:37 PM

To paraphrase a line from “Young Frankenstein”: “A Crusade ees an ugly seenk, und I seenk it’s about time zat vee had one!”

OccamsRazor on September 14, 2012 at 6:24 PM

Nero fiddles while Rome burns…oh, I mean Obama campaigns while the Middle East explodes…

StarLady on September 14, 2012 at 10:50 PM