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Man charged in U of M bomb threat

Prosecutors say 36-year-old Ahmed Umar was being arrested on an active warrant when he told an officer "I have a bomb."
Credit: KARE

MINNEAPOLIS — A Minneapolis man with an extensive history of criminal trespassing is now charged in connection with a bomb threat on the University of Minnesota campus Wednesday. 

Prosecutors say 36-year-old Ahmed Mohamed Umar was in the process of being arrested when he told officers involved in the situation that he had a bomb. He is now charged with making threats of violence involving an explosive or incendiary device. 

In a criminal complaint prosecutors detail how police responded to Coffman Union on the U of M campus just before 5 p.m. on reports of a man videotaping students, repeatedly trying to enter a room and refusing to leave. 

Responding officers located the suspect, soon identified as Umar, and brought him outside the building to a bench. The complaint says routine checks revealed that Umar was wanted on an active warrant in Dakota County, and police told him he was under arrest. When an officer asked Umar if he had any weapons, the defendant reportedly told him "I have a bomb" and indicated it was in his backpack, sitting on the ground nearby. 

Credit: Hennepin County Sheriff's Office
Ahmed Mohamed Umar

At that point law enforcement evacuated Coffman Union and closed surrounding streets and sidewalks while the building was searched and cleared. The Minneapolis Bomb Squad searched Umar's backpack and no explosive device was found. 

Officers also spoke to a witness who reportedly told them she was on her phone when Umar approached and asked to hug and kiss her. She then went back into a study room and rejoined several female friends, and said the defendant began to videotape them on his phone, allegedly saying they were "fresh" and that he "likes that." 

Prosecutors say Umar has been charged with trespassing more than 20 times in the state of Minnesota in the past three years, in addition to other crimes that include theft, disorderly conduct and giving false information to police. 

He is currently in custody. 

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