Australian police probe threat on social media against University of New South Wales

Australian Police officers patrol the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney, Australia, on Oct 12, 2015.
Australian Police officers patrol the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney, Australia, on Oct 12, 2015.PHOTO: EPA

SYDNEY - The Australian police are investigating a threat made on social media against the staff and students of University of New South Wales (UNSW) at Kensington campus.

UNSW said on its Facebook page: "We are treating this incident seriously and have been liaising with the NSW Police through the anti-terrorism and security group and Local Area Command".

UNSW vice-chancellor Ian Jacobs said the university was informed of the threat by the police, ABC News Online reported.

"The advice we've received is that there is no requirement or need to change normal university activities. We have been advised to ask our staff and students to be vigilant and we have done that,'' Professor Jacobs was quoted as saying.

He said the university would continue to take advice from the police if the situation changed and would update staff and students as new information came to hand.

ABC News Online reported that the threat was a general one and not directed at a specific group within the university.

Even though classes on Monday (Oct 12) were continuing as normal, students had been told that if they were to leave the campus, they would not be penalised, said the report.

Commerce student Michael Nguyen, 19, told ABC News that he had decided to go home.

"It's quite scary," he said. "Usually I would study here but I don't feel safe today."

Another student, identified only as Laura, was quoted as saying that the warning was unsettling given recent attacks in the United States.

"We've seen all the things in America," she said. "So it's just a bit scary that someone could come here and shoot everybody."