The University of Texas at Austin sent an emergency alert to all university students, staff and faculty telling all to evacuate the campus due to threats.
The message called for an immediate evacuation of all campus buildings, warning all to clear the campus and stay as far away as possible.
In a statement, university officials said it received a call at 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 Qaeda and these bombs would go off in 90 minutes. President Powers was notified and it was decided to evacuate all of the buildings out of an abundance of caution," according to The Statesman.
Business Insider reports,"North Dakota State University is also telling students to evacuate. In a security alert posted at 9:49 a.m., the university confirms it received a bomb threat. The university is requiring all students to leave campus by 10:15 a.m."
The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead reports that two other bomb threats were reported this week in the region, closing Hector International Airport in Fargo. The other was reported at the Grand Forks airport.
UPDATE 11:30 a.m. EST -- The Associated Press reports that police have found no bombs at UT-Austin so far.
Over 50,000 students attend UT Austin. Over 14,000 attend NDSU according to the universities' websites.
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NDSU campus police have reopened campus as of 1 p.m. Classes and full operation will resume at 2 p.m. Over the next hour, university police will be unlocking buildings. As always, students, faculty and staff may choose not to return if travel is a concern.
Reporters questioned why there was such a long delay between the moment when the call came in and when the notice of evacuation was released.
Powers defended the school, saying they were evaluating and working with city, state and federal officials, and felt confident in how they handled things. Powers also gave a slightly longer time frame, saying the threat was something would happen within 90 minutes to 2 1/2 hours.
"If the threat had been something's going off in 5 minutes, then you don't have the time to evaluate, you have to pull the switch," Powers said.
"We know a great deal of detail about the nature of this phone call," Powers emphatically stated.
-- Tyler Kingkade
After investigating a bomb threat at the University of Texas this morning, the university is "confident" the campus is safe.
However when the threat was called in, the university "could not [be] assure[d]" it was "not credible."
"We got to the point where we thought that the prudent thing to do was to clear our buildings," University of Texas President Bill Powers told reporters in a press conference.
"The buildings were cleared very expeditiously."
Texts were sent out to 69,000 people, Austin Police Chief Robert Dalhstrom told reporters."Through a variety of sources, we are confident our campus is safe," Powers said.
A suspect has not been identified and not been arrested.
NDSU just posted an update on their Facebook page:
The following message was just provided on Notifind:University officials are continuing to work with authorities, and campus remains closed. We anticipate another update within the hour.
Do not call local emergency numbers for further information in order to permit emergency lines to remain open for emergency calls. Updates to this announcement will be made when information becomes available. This message is authorized and transmitted by the University Police Communications Call Center.
|@ AP : UPDATE: No bombs had been found on the campuses of either #UT or #NorthDakotaState: http://t.co/r3a5dMYk|
Valparaiso University issues alert for "unspecific threat to campus:"
BE ON ALERT! 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.
Please be advised that additional security presence will be on site and visible at this time. If necessary, please comply with security personnel direction and requirements.
|@ robertmcmurrey : A quite #UT campus as people leave for the day. Students say classes have been cancelled. http://t.co/NfpUBVSD|
|@ UTAustin : All activities except classes will resume at 5 p.m. Buildings may be reentered at noon. Today's classes are cancelled.|
Students at UT don't have much information to go on after they were evacuated in response to this morning's bomb threat:
From the Waco Tribune, who interviewed UT student Alec Sanchez:
"They blocked campus off. They aren’t letting anyone back in," Alec Sanchez said.
He said there isn't a formal police line, but administrators are standing guard at the edge of campus and not letting students enter.
In fact, he hasn't seen any formal police presence, he said.
"They’re just standing there. I watched people try to get back on campus but the faculty/administration is guarding campus."
Students are waiting for more updates but haven't gotten any lately."I have no idea what is going on. They’re not telling us much."
Kevin Hegarty, vice president and chief financial officer of the University of Texas at Austin, said moments ago that the campus will be closed till the sweep of the buildings is completed, which is expected to be at around 2 p.m.
From the AP:
By 10:30 a.m., the university issued another advisory saying that buildings were still being checked and that no decision had been made on whether the campus would reopen for afternoon classes.
Ashley Moran, a freshman from Houston, said she was waiting to get into class when word quickly began spreading among students to leave immediately. She described the evacuation as "orderly but tense."
"It makes me really nervous I just know we're supposed to get out," she said.
North Dakota State University in Fargo, N.D., also ordered a campus evacuation after a bomb threat Friday morning. But it was unclear whether the two threats were related.
|@ UTAustin : Time specified in phone threat has passed but we have not yet cleared all buildings. Decision to resume operations&classes will come shortly|
This is developing.