Anonymous online threat made against Edinburgh University

Editor’s Notes: (1) The Student has seen no evidence to indicate that the threat discussed in this story is credible. (2) This story has been updated (2/10/2015, 11:18am, 11:51am, 12:36pm).

Police Scotland are investigating after a threat was made against students at the University of Edinburgh Thursday afternoon on the anonymous 4chan messaging board.

In the post, which has since been removed, an anonymous user wrote: “Don’t [go] to University of Edinburgh tomorrow. To all the normies viewing this, keep checking the news, you’ll see a lot of us on the news over the next few days.”

The Student reported the threat to the University early Friday morning. The post, which appeared the same day as a serious attack at a community college in Oregon, was also reported to Police Scotland. It cannot be verified as credible.

In remarks to The Student, an Edinburgh University Security shift manager said: “Edinburgh University Security Section are aware of the possible threat towards The University on 2nd October 2015 and are dealing with it in accordance to our procedures and in liaison with Police Scotland.

“Please be assured the safety of our students and staff are a priority.”

The University of Edinburgh press office declined to add to the statement from Edinburgh University Security, instead directing press enquiries to Police Scotland.

In a statement issued Friday morning, a spokesperson for Police Scotland said: “Police Scotland is investigating following reports of a communication posted to a website. Enquiries into this communication are currently ongoing.”

Edinburgh University Students’ Association (EUSA) moved to reassure students Friday morning, issuing a statement via the organisation’s Facebook page. The Association also advised any students not wishing to attend courses because of the threat to make contact with their personal tutors.

The statement reads: “You may be aware that comments were posted online yesterday following the shooting at a college in Oregon, USA and claiming that the University of Edinburgh would face something similar today. This incident is being dealt with in accordance with the University’s procedures. There is no evidence that this posting is credible and the current assessment from both the University’s security team and Police Scotland is that the risk is low.

“The University and Police Scotland have no evidence that this is anything other than an unpleasant hoax. However Police Scotland has launched an investigation. The University is working in close liaison with Police Scotland and taking the appropriate steps to ensure the safety of students and staff, which is always their key priority. If in the light of this news any student does not feel comfortable coming into the University at this time, they should let their personal tutor know.”

A link to the 4chan thread was shared on Reddit within the site’s “r/edinburgh” board, with users warning each other to take care on campus Friday.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

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