Long Island University closes Downtown Brooklyn campus due to unspecified social media threat

Long Island University closes Downtown Brooklyn campus due to unspecified social media threat
Closed: Long Island University staff shuttered Downtown Brooklyn campus due to an “unspecified” online threat on Thursday, Aug. 8.
Photo by Kevin Duggan

Long Island University closed its Downtown Brooklyn campus Thursday in response to threats made on social media.

Administrators decided to close both the school’s Kings County campus at Flatbush Avenue Ext. and DeKalb Avenue — and its Long Island campus in Greenvale, N.Y. — in response to a Federal Bureau of Investigations advisory regarding a threat the agency described as both unspecific and not credible, according to the university’s website, which noted the decision to close its doors was influenced, in part, by a string of recent mass shootings across the country.

“The FBI advised the University of a non-specific threat that they do not deem credible. However, the University has chosen to act with an abundance of caution in light of recent tragedies in Texas and Ohio,” read a statement on the school’s website.

Campus housing remains accessible to students and employees, and the college advised students to check their e-mail and phones for more information.

“All student and employee residents will maintain access to campus housing. Please continue checking your e-mail and mobile devices for additional information,” the statement read.

Guards were stationed at school entrances to ward off students as a result of the lockdown, and one scholar turned away at the university’s Flatbush Avenue Ext. entrance said he was sympathetic to the need for safety.

“I asked if I could get in and the security guard told me, ‘No, the school is on lockdown today,’” said the student, who only gave his name as Cameron. “They were just trying to be safe.”

Another scholar was trying to come and pay her admissions fees, but was advised to come back the next day.

“They said it was closed and that I should just come back tomorrow,” said the scholar, who gave her name as Prabjot.

An employee with the LIU’s campus security said that the threat was made not specifically to the college, but was instead directed at Brooklyn in general and that agents directed all colleges to close.

“The threat was made to the borough of Brooklyn, New York, not LIU,” the guard said.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s press office did not immediately return a message left seeking comment.

When contacted, representatives at other Kings County academic institutions claimed they were unaware of the threat.

“No one’s told us to close,” said Alex Finan, a spokesman for Brooklyn College. “If that had come through, we probably would have known. We’ve got nothing so far.”

Brooklyn Heights’s St. Francis College remains open as well, according to an employee, who said he, too, was unaware of any threat.

Reach reporter Kevin Duggan at (718) 260–2511 or by e-mail at kduggan@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @kduggan16.

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