Campus police at George Mason University arrested three students after they searched their dorm room and found bomb-making materials, among other illegal items, including drugs. An Associated Press report states that the students were taken into custody and federal authorities have now joined the investigation into the matter.
The incident occurred last week when officials received reports that flames were shooting out of the window. Upon searching the room, police discovered a leafy green substance, match books, shaved match heads, a mortar and pestle, lighter fluid, hand sanitizer, candles, and a PVC pipe. Investigators said some of the items could make a bomb when combined.
Due to the fact that the bomb-making making materials were found, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives is required to further investigate as to how and why the students obtained the hazardous items. Regarding the matter, Capt. Brian Cozby, of George Mason University’s Department of Police and Public Safety, released the following statement to Fox News.
“There was no threat ever to that building or to the university as a whole,” Cozby was quoted as saying. “We are working with local and federal agencies, including the joint task force and ATF.”
Cozby also told reporters that the names of the adult students are not being released until investigators confirm “these individuals aren’t linked to something else.”
Tom Longo, the interim police chief of George Mason University, which is located in Fairfax, Virginia, also spoke to the press and he issued a written statement, which can be seen below.
“On Wednesday, March 16, the George Mason University Police Department received a report of flames coming from a window in Jefferson Hall. When police arrived, they found sufficient cause to request a search warrant for possible drug paraphernalia. University Police immediately obtained a search warrant and found drug paraphernalia as well as items consistent with the production of a dangerous device. Three students were arrested: two on drug and alcohol related charges and one charged with possession of bomb making materials. There was no danger to residents of Jefferson Hall or other residence halls, and there is no ongoing threat to the campus community. The investigation continues. Members of the Mason community are encouraged to report all crimes and suspicious persons or incidents to Mason Police at 703-993-2810 or 911.”
Although there is no evidence pointing to the involvement of others, police said they will not release the names of the students until that part of the investigation is complete.
“If they are connected to something else, we don’t want the names out there because those people could stop what they’re doing and go someplace else,” Cozby said.
The students appeared at hearing at the Fairfax County Courthouse on Thursday and were released at short time later.
As said in the Fox News report, students and parents expressed anger and frustration via Facebook because the university was not releasing more details about the probe.
“My daughter attends GMU, and I learned of this (and apparently two rapes which occurred on campus yesterday) by word of mouth from her,” one concerned parent wrote on the social media network. “It took some effort to finally find this little ‘notice’ on GMU’s facebook page, and I hardly find it very comforting after seeing the news reports on the matter. The university needs to be far more proactive in notifying students and parents of threats to public safety, and actions being taken to protect the students, faculty, and public.”
[Image via Christopher Furlong/Getty Images News]