HOUSTON (CBS Houston) – The University of Texas at Austin issued a mandatory emergency evacuation Friday morning.
“We received a bomb threat this morning from a man claiming to be part of al-Qaida,” said spokesman Gary Susswein. “He was saying there was a bomb on campus. Out of an abundance of caution, we’re evacuating all buildings, making sure all buildings are secure.”
Officials say the person who called in the bomb threat spoke with a Middle-Eastern accent and claimed to be a member of Al Qaeda.
The alert, issued at 9:53 a.m. says, “Evacuation due to threats on campus. Immediately evacuate ALL buildings and get as far away as possible. More information to come.”
According to an updated UT-Austin statement, the bomb threat was called in at 8:30 a.m. and school officials moved quickly to have the campus evacuated, which forced thousands of students out of their classes and dorms with nowhere to go.
UT Austin posted to Twitter: “Time specified in phone threat has passed but we have not yet cleared all buildings. Decision to resume operations&classes will come shortly”
University of North Dakota has also been forced to evacuate its campus in Fargo for a separate bomb threat.
Update 12:45: North Dakota State University police reopened the Fargo campus at 1 p.m., with classes to resume at 2 p.m., the school announced.
Update 12:20 p.m.: At a press conference a little after noon on campus, UT President Bill Powers said that “We’re extremely confident that the campus is safe. We are allowing people to go back into buildings.”
Update 11:39: University officials just posted to Twitter: “All activities except classes will resume at 5 p.m. Buildings may be reentered at noon. Today’s classes are cancelled.”
Update 11:34: The LBJ Library and Museum will be closed today and will repoen at 9 a.m. tomorrow, an official said.
Update 11:30 a.m.: University of Texas police just posted a notice to Twitter that said, “We are still clearing buildings. Please remain outside. Thank you for your patience.”