Telephone Terrorism: ‘Al-Qaeda’ Bomb Threats Evacuate University Of Texas And North Dakota State University Campuses
By JIM VERTUNO, Associated Press – ” AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Thousands of people streamed off university campuses in Texas and North Dakota on Friday after phoned-in bomb threats prompted evacuations and officials warned students and faculty to get away as quickly as possible. No bombs had been found on either campus by late morning and it was not clear whether the threats were related.
The University of Texas issued received a call about 8:35 a.m. from a man claiming to be with al-Qaida who said he had placed bombs all over the 50,000-student Austin campus, according to University of Texas spokeswoman Rhonda Weldon. He claimed the bombs would go off in 90 minutes and all buildings were evacuated at 9:50 a.m. as a precaution, Weldon said.
The deadline passed without incident, and the university issued another advisory saying all buildings had been cleared. It left open the possibility that classes could resume later Friday.
North Dakota State University President Dean Bresciani said 20,000 people also were evacuated from his school’s main and downtown campuses in Fargo after the school received its bomb threat Friday morning. Officials did not immediately release details about the North Dakota threat.
In Texas, sirens wailed on campus and cellphones pinged with text messages as the alert when out. Students described more confusion than panic as they began to exit the sprawling campus in what one described as an ‘orderly but tense’ manner. Students said they were directed off campus by university staff.
‘One of them said to me `get off this campus as soon as possible,” said Elizabeth Gerberich, an 18-year-old freshman from New Jersey.” Read more.
Nuclear Reactor Facility Evacuated In Austin After ‘Al-Qaeda’ Bomb Threat – “A research facility at the University of Texas in Austin that houses an active nuclear reactor has been evacuated after a man with a middle eastern accent claiming to be a member of Al-Qaeda warned authorities the campus had been booby-trapped with explosives… A campus-wide email has been sent to all students, according to the Dallas News. ‘Evacuation due to threats on campus immediately evacuate all buildings get as far away from the buildings as possible. Further information to come,’ the email reads.” Read more.