Alaska man charged with perpetrating last May’s bomb threat

A screenshot of the preview screen of the now suspended Twitter account, @BdanJafarSaleem

A man in Anchorage, Alaska, has been charged with perpetrating last May’s bomb threat, President Alison Byerly announced in an email this afternoon at 3:18 p.m. No more details were given regarding the man’s identity or motives.

The May 5 threat was emailed to the college and posted online and on social media, but was deemed not credible after a room-by-room search of campus was conducted by law enforcement.

Tweets from Twitter account @BdanJafarSaleem and a post on the site Pastebin sent students effectively into a self-enforced lockdown, as someone claiming to be a student at the college communicated that he had placed bombs on campus and that he possessed an number of guns. Students took shelter where they were, and some even fled campus for nearby homes. Byerly said at the time that the threat was also communicated via email to the college, although that was not received campus-wide.

Byerly wrote in her email that she, U.S. Attorney William M. McSwain and FBI Special Agent in Charge Michael T. Harpster will be holding a press conference at the college Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. regarding the announcement. The FBI has been leading the investigation into the incident.

“At this time, and on behalf of everyone affiliated with Lafayette, I want to express our immense gratitude to all of the federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, including our own Department of Public Safety, for their diligence in pursuing this investigation and identifying a suspect,” Byerly wrote in her email.

“While we are relieved an arrest has been made, we will continue to make emergency planning a high priority, as nothing is more important than the safety and well-being of our students,” she added.

“As a result of the May incident, we have taken steps to ensure that the campus community is well informed about our safety procedures and communications protocols,” she also wrote. Some at the time took issue with the college’s delay in notifying parents and students about the threat.

Updated 12/15/18 at 4:08 p.m.

About Kathryn Kelly

Kathryn Kelly '19 is the editor-in-chief of The Lafayette. She studies government & law and Classics.

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