Man charged in bomb threat targeting Muslim community center

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Azzam Baytie_97351

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Police say the man behind the bomb threat earlier this week targeting the North Austin Muslim Community Center is Azzam Ahmad-Raji Baytie, 53. He is charged with the third-degree felony of terroristic threat.

The two apparent bomb threats came Tuesday morning, including one in the West Campus area. The other was at the Muslim center at 11900 North Lamar Blvd., where police say Baytie indicated there was a bomb in a Ford F-150 Econoline Van. Police say Baytie initially told them there was a van at the International Food Market at 10901 North Lamar Blvd. that was going to blow up.

“Baytie then changed the location to the mosque located on North Lamar (which is the North Austin Muslim Community Center) stating it was chloride, ammonia, and C4 in a white, Ford F-150 van at the mosque,” documents say. “He stated the police needed to clear the area all the way to the Texaco station, which is located at 11331 North Lamar Blvd.”

Police say that’s when the had to block off the area around the North Austin Muslim Community Center, not allowing anyone to enter until it was safely cleared of any threat. The Austin Police Bomb Squad responded, found the van Baytie described — which actually belongs to the Community Center — and inspected it, though they didn’t find any explosives.

Police say Baytie “committed the offense of terroristic threat and placed the North Austin Muslim Community Center in grave danger by reporting this bomb threat.”

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