By Barry Ellsworth
TRENTON, Ont. (AA): A Canadian university was evacuated Wednesday after separate media outlets received the same letter that threatened to detonate bombs targeting Muslim students. Montreal police said they found nothing suspicious during their search and have now handed the case over to the major crimes division.
The evacuationsat Concordia University’s downtown Montreal campus began around noon (1700GMT).
The letter was from an organization calling itself the Council of Conservative Citizens of Canada (C4).
“This is a warning letter from the underground C4 chapter at Concordia University to all Muslim students,” according to the letter that was published by the Montreal Gazette newspaper. “Now that President [Donald] Trump is in office south of the border, things have changed.”
The letter continues with one of the group’s members complaining to the Concordia Student Union that Friday prayers by Muslims often featured speeches that are anti-Christian and anti-Jewish.
Then comes the threat.
“Between today March 1st at noon and March 3rd at 2 pm we will DETONATE once per day small artisanal amateur explosive devices that we planted on the 2 floors of the H [building] and 1 floor of [another building] where Muslims hang out.
“These are not meant to kill anybody. The only aim is to injure some Moslem [sic] students. Unfortunately some non-Moslems might be collateral damage.”
It was signed by the “C4 coordinator – Concordia University.”
The university’s three downtown campus buildings were evacuated.
“The suspect [C4] sent by email that he put some explosive items inside a few places inside the buildings,” Montreal police Constable Benoit Boisselle told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. “Lots of police are on the site right now. They looked around, they did not find any suspect items.”
Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard said when he heard what was happening at Concordia, his first concern was everyone’s safety.
“It’s a despicable act that must be condemned by all of society, but my first concern is safety,” Couillard said.
Concordia University spokesperson Chris Mota said she was alerted to the threatening email at 9 or 9:30 a.m. She said Concordia administration contacted Montreal police immediately, and it was a police decision to evacuate the three downtown buildings later in the morning.
The Concordia University website said all afternoon classes and services are cancelled and warned people to avoid buildings on the three campuses.
Additional reporting by The Muslim News
[Photo: Concordia University, Montreal, Canada. Photgraph by Jeangagnon/Creartive Commons]