Moments ago the University of Texas at Austin issued an evacuation order. According to a statement on the university’s official web site, “Evacuation due to threats on campus. Immediately evacuate ALL buildings and get as far away as possible. More information to come.”
Fox News reports that a man with a Middle Eastern accent phoned the school, claiming to be affiliated with al Qaeda. He claimed to have placed multiple bombs on the campus. The call came in at about 8:35 this morning, and the man said the bombs would go off about 90 minutes later. We have passed that point now.
Update: A reporter for local CBS affiliate KEYE TV reports from just off campus, that police are starting to direct students out of buildings and off campus. Students, according to the reporter, are mostly ducking from today’s rain and joking that thanks to the evacuation they have a free day on Friday.
Update: Cap-Metro buses have been sent away from the campus.
Update: Follow on-the-scene reactions on Twitter at #utbombthreat.
Update: North Dakota State University in Fargo, ND has also been evacuated today in relation to a bomb threat.
A bomb threat has prompted a complete evacuation Friday morning of North Dakota State University in Fargo, campus police announced in an emergency alert.
“NDSU is requiring all employees and students to leave campus by 10:15 a.m.,” the alert reads. “This includes residence hall students, who, if necessary, should walk to locations off campus.”
The alert added that the evacuation also covers the school’s downtown buildings and agricultural facilities.
The alert gave no details about the bomb threat, adding that more information would be released later.
Update: Students and faculty continue to mill around just off campus in Austin. Classes have been cancelled for the day. Big question for students who live on campus is, when can they go home? Meanwhile, the local affiliate has cut away from its coverage and gone back to scheduled programming, The Price is Right.
Update: According to the AP, UT officials say that no bombs have been found so far.
Update: The UT-Austin threat deadline passed about 20 minutes ago. The local TV affiliates have dipped in and out of coverage, but as they don’t have much to report they’re resorting to lots of empty chatter and checks on Twitter. The #utbombthreat hashtag is trending worldwide.
Update: The UTPD is reportedly still sweeping the buildings on campus for any bombs. The campus itself is enormous, covering a large slice of downtown Austin. The sweep is likely to take a while.
Update: I’ll be on America’s Radio News shortly to discuss the threat. Drudge just reported that a third university has been threatened today, Valparaiso.
Update 11:17 central: UT has decided to resume operations, may resume afternoon classes. The FBI remains on campus investigating.