Updated 12:22 p.m. central time: University issues all clear, buildings reopened
A University of Texas at Austin spokesperson said Friday morning that a man with a Middle Eastern accent claiming to be with Al Qaeda called in and said he placed bombs all over campus, prompting university officials to call for an evacuation.
“Evacuation due to threats on campus immediately evacuate all buildings get as far away from the buildings as possible,” the university’s official Twitter account said at 10 a.m. central time. “More to come.”
UT Communications director Rhonda Weldon reportedly told Austin’s KXAN that the man said the bombs would detonate in 90 minutes.
Update: North Dakota State University reports threat
A source on the University of Texas campus told Raw Story that hundreds of students are in the streets of downtown Austin awaiting further word on the threat. A heavy local police presence around the campus also appears to have snarled downtown traffic.
Update: Classes canceled, buildings clear
The University of Texas issued an all-clear moments ago, advising students and faculty that classes have been canceled for the day, but buildings will be reopened at noon.
Update: University plans press conference
University officials are planning a press conference for 12 p.m. central.
Update: UT ‘extremely confident’ campus is safe
University of Texas officials said at a press conference that after working with state and federal officials, they are “extremely confident” the campus is now safe. Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell added that he’s “very gratified… that this threat has abated and things are going back to normal.”
UT President William Powers added that officials are “very confident” about the campus’s safety due to information they’ve obtained about the call itself, in addition to the physical search of the buildings.
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
Raw Story is a progressive news site that focuses on stories often ignored in the mainstream media. While giving coverage to the big stories of the day, we also bring our readers' attention to policy, politics, legal and human rights stories that get ignored in an infotainment culture driven solely by pageviews.
Founded in 2004, Raw Story reaches 5 million unique readers per month and serves more than 19 million pageviews.