ALERT: Lehigh notified of ‘online threat of violence’ to Philadelphia-area college

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UPDATE: According to an email sent to the Lehigh community by Lehigh Police Chief Edward Shupp and Lehigh’s Crisis Management Team at 8:45 a.m. on Oct. 5, Lehigh will operate under normal conditions and all classes are being held as scheduled.

The Lehigh University Police Department will be increasing patrols and presence on and around campus, said the email.

“We understand that some students may be uncomfortable attending classes today,” read the email. “Should that be the case, please contact your instructors to make sure they know you will not be attending class, and to get any work you need to make up.”

Several Lehigh students have received emails from professors informing students that there will be no penalty for not attending class today around the 2 p.m. hour, the time that the potential threat mentioned.

Other schools in the Philadelphia area have taken extra precautions to ensure the safety of their communities. According to Temple University’s Twitter account and its website, the university is operating under normal conditions.

Drexel University is operating on a normal schedule, but has elevated security measures by increasing patrols and requiring all persons to show identification before entering campus buildings.

University of Pennsylvania’s Division of Public Safety issued a public safety notice on its website on Oct. 4, saying that the division has increased its police, security officer and CCTV patrols.

Lehigh has been notified by the FBI of an online threat of violence made to an unspecified Philadelphia-area college or university, according to an email from Lehigh Police Chief Edward Shupp.

“This is out of abundance of caution that we’re putting this out there,” Shupp said. “There’s no direct threat against any specific area and it’s only a notification we got from the FBI, which they often times get second- and third-hand.

“There’s no immediate threat in any way, but we wanted to make the community aware of it.”

Earlier today, the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms and Tobacco alerted all Philadelphia-area colleges that a threat was made to an unspecified college or university in the region with a date of Oct. 5 at 2 p.m., according to the University of Pennsylvania’s Division of Public Safety.

The LUPD will remain vigilant, the email said. Members of the community are encouraged to report any suspicious activity.

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