Online threat to women on UM's Ann Arbor campus 'mitigated,' school says Sunday

The Detroit News

An anonymous online threat against women at the University of Michigan's Ann Arbor campus has been mitigated, school officials said Sunday night.

Classes are scheduled Monday, according to an emailed message from UM's president.

The FBI said Sunday there was "no current or pending threat to the University of Michigan community from this individual."

The school's Division of Public Safety & Security said the threat has been addressed.

"DPSS is confident that any threat from the post has been addressed and mitigated," a statement from the president's office said Sunday. "In collaboration with our partners, we have conducted an assessment of the individual who made the post,” said DPSS executive director Eddie L. Washington Jr.

The FBI on Saturday said it interviewed a person suspected of posting the unconfirmed online threat, which claimed there would be a shooting Monday on the Ann Arbor campus. 

The person of interest is from outside the state, according to the UM police department. The subject was not publicly identified.

UM President Mark Schlissel and Provost Susan Collins on Sunday night referred to the "misogynistic and bigoted shooting threat" in an email message to the campus community.

“What we know today from the FBI is that the threat has been mitigated, and there is no current or pending threat based on the post," the message said. "The FBI has reported that the post originated on the East Coast. Based on the reassuring information from the FBI, classes and activities will continue as scheduled Monday.”

The threat was circulating on social media Saturday; police boosted security, according to the school.In a news release Sunday, the FBI said "the individual had neither the means nor the opportunity to carry out the threat."

The FBI said an investigation was ongoing.

"Each and every threat brought to our attention is taken seriously and is investigated to determine whether the threat was made in violation of state or federal law," the bureau said. "We are still collecting and reviewing evidence in this case. While that process is ongoing, we cannot provide any additional information — including the identity of the individual.

DPSS was notified of a message posted on a Russian-operated confessions website indicating an intent to carry out an active shooter incident targeting females on Monday, the school said in a statement. The post has been removed.

According to the Michigan Daily, the note was posted to a website called Sinn List by an anonymous user who said, “On October 4th, I’m going to the University of Michigan and blow away every single woman I see with an AR-15."

“There is a violent pro-male revolution coming and you people better get ready for it," it continued. 

The post referenced Elliot Rodger, an alt-right extremist who fatally shot six people at Isla Vista in 2014, and Plymouth, England, which was the site of an August mass shooting where five people were killed. In both incidents, the shooters took their own lives. 

"The safety and security of our community is our highest priority, the statement said. "The U-M Police Department is collaborating with local, state, and federal law enforcement partners to investigate this post."

DPSS said it would be providing "additional staffing and taking other risk mitigation steps" out of an abundance of caution. 

Based on the investigation, “there is nothing to indicate imminent harm to our community,” an updated statement from UM police said.

"We value our partnership with our community and appreciate those who stepped forward to report this information," the statement said. "We all play a role in ensuring community safety. If you see something that shouldn’t be there or someone’s behavior doesn’t seem quite right – say something."

Anyone with information is asked to contact DPSS at (734) 763-1131 or at dpss-safety-security@umich.edu.