President John Pistole addressed students and faculty at the end of chapel on Thursday, Feb. 25, to inform attendees that “within the last hour,” the university had received a bomb threat. The threat was sent via email to four different RavenMail accounts, including the Student Government Association and Dean of Students Dr. Chris Confer.
Pistole said that the FBI had been notified and was in the process of attempting to track the emails, which were sent from anonymous Guerrilla Mail email accounts. Additionally, AUPD and other local law enforcement, including multiple K-9 units, were called to assist in a campus-wide sweep.
According to Pistole, the threats were not considered credible. An email sent by Confer reaffirmed Pistole’s statement. The contents of the threat were also included in the email sent by Confer. The message read:
“Hello AU There is a bomb on campus Good Luck”
The Raven Alert System was put into use shortly after chapel to notify and update students and their family members of the threat, but classes were not cancelled.
According to the AU Twitter page, buildings were searched and cleared. Confer then sent an email notifying students that the threat had been disproven and that he wants students to know that AU administration “take[s] threats seriously and will respond swiftly, but will not live in fear or allow fear to disrupt our lives,” and that “we serve a mighty God and are surrounded by friends of AU who lifted our community in prayer during this time.”
The day following the bomb threat, Pistole sent a campus-wide email regarding the threat and the LGBT+ forum. “Regarding the bomb threat we had yesterday, in my experience we have to take any such threat seriously and resolve it as quickly and as professionally as possible,” Pistole wrote.
Pistole lauded the support and cooperation of the people on campus in the situation. He informed those on campus that “we have a crisis management team, which convened shortly after the threat was received. Together with our AU police and ITS staff, along with local, state and federal law enforcement, the situation was handled quickly and well.”
“I just spoke with the head of the FBI in Indianapolis and he assured me of their efforts to identify and hold accountable the sender of the email,” Pistole wrote. “In the meantime, vigilance is not a bad thing wherever you are.”
If anyone has additional information regarding the source of the threat, they may report that information to President Pistole or to the AU Police Department. For questions or concerns, students may contact Pistole.