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Published On: Thu, Oct 15th, 2015

Tennessee Nigerian student Olayinka Opaso arrested for terrorist threat after comments

A student from Church of God’s Lee University was arrested after posting an anonymous shooting threat toward the Tennessee college on social media.

Olayinka Opaso, an 18-year-old Nigerian student, was charged with commission of an act of terrorism by the Cleveland Police Department after confessing to posting the threat to a senior Lee University official.

Lee University Campus Safety Director Matt Brinkman took Opaso into custody before transporting him to the Cleveland Police Department, where he was interviewed by local investigators. Brinkman said that Lee placed heightened security on campus from both Campus Safety and the Cleveland Police Department after the threat was brought to the university’s attention.

“We had police personnel present [on campus and at campus events] to ensure safety, to let students know that we were taking it seriously and to calm them,” Brinkman said.

Olayinka Opaso

Olayinka Opaso

The threat was made on Yik Yak, a mobile messaging app that allows users to post anonymous text posts called “yaks” to other “yakkers” within a 5-mile radius.

Brinkman said a student took a screenshot of the post and emailed it to his office on Oct. 9. Lee administration then contacted local authorities, who in turn contacted the FBI.

“Our primary goal was to [ensure] the safety of students, so we were looking into the validity of [the threat] and immediately went into investigation with the police department to see what we could find out and go from there,” Brinkman said.

The Cleveland Police Department offense report states that the posting on Yik Yak stated there would “… be a shooting at Lee next week and 53 students would die and 59 injured.”

Commission of an act of terrorism is a Class-A felony and is punishable by up to 25 years in prison for a first offense in the state of Tennessee.

Students were not notified of the threat at that time, and class schedules continued as normal. When word of the threat began circulating on Facebook among Lee students, parents and students began calling the school and local authorities for more information, prompting Lee University President Paul Conn to give an official statement.

“While the post is indeed anonymous and there is no direct evidence of its credibility, we do want you to know that we are taking precautions to maintain our safe campus environment,” Conn said.

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About the Author

- Catherine "Kaye" Wonderhouse, a proud descendant of the Wunderhaus family is the Colorado Correspondent who will add more coverage, interviews and reports from this midwest area.

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  1. Tennessee Nigerian student Olayinka Opaso arrested for terrorist threat after comments - News Aggregator says:

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