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  • Writer's pictureL. Darryl Armstrong

University of Texas Response to al-Qaida – Doesn’t Meet My Criteria of a Good Crisis Re

The University of Texas has evacuated all their campus buildings due to a bomb threat from supposedly an  al-Qaida operative. The response in my professional opinion was not timely nor well done based on what we know at this point. This is what has been posted:

Threatening caller spurs UT evacuation

Caller claimed to be with al-Qaida, planted bombs

Updated: Friday, 14 Sep 2012, 10:39 AM CDT Published : Friday, 14 Sep 2012, 9:55 AM CD

AUSTIN (KXAN) – The University of Texas is evacuating all of its buildings due to threats on campus after a caller claiming to be with al-Qaida said he placed bombs all over campus that would go off around 10 a.m. — which has since passed.

“Immediately evacuate ALL buildings and get as far away as possible,” read a message posted at 9:53 a.m. on the campus’ emergency alert website. “More information to come.”

UT Director of Communications Rhonda Weldon said the university got a call around 8:35 a.m. from a male with a Middle Eastern accent claiming to have placed bombs all over campus.

He said he was with al-Qaida and that these bombs would go off in 90 minutes.

President Williams Powers has been notified, and officials are now evacuating all of the buildings out of an abundance of caution.

Read this post carefully and calculate the times. Is this an adequate response time to evacuate the buildings? We see no mention of text messaging, electronic sign coverage or any social media use – perhaps more details will follow. At this time though we would question how well this was handled by their crisis response team.

Let’s hope there are clarifications to come!

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