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No bombs found after threats empty 2 campuses
AUSTIN — Tens of thousands of people streamed off university campuses in Texas and North Dakota on Friday after telephoned bomb threats prompted officials to warn students and faculty to leave as quickly as possible. Both campuses eventually were deemed safe and reopened by early afternoon, as authorities worked to determine whether the threats were related.
The University of Texas received a call about 8:35 a.m. from a man claiming to be with al Qaeda, who said he had placed bombs throughout the 50,000-student Austin campus, said University of Texas spokeswoman Rhonda Weldon. He claimed the bombs would go off in 90 minutes, so all buildings were evacuated at 9:50 a.m. as a precaution, Ms. Weldon said.
The deadline passed without incident, and the university reopened all buildings by noon.
North Dakota State University President Dean Bresciani said 20,000 people were evacuated from his school’s main and downtown campuses in Fargo after the school received its threat. FBI spokesman Kyle Loven said a call that included a “threat of an explosive device” came in about 9:45 a.m., but he declined to give further details. He said the agency was trying to determine whether the two campus threats were related.
• From wire dispatches and staff reports
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