Oregon State University has experienced significant media attention in the aftermath of the arrest last Friday night of an individual in connection with a bomb plot focused on downtown Portland. The individual in question, Mohamed Osman Mohamud, 19, was enrolled sporadically at OSU over the past 15 months as a non-degree student, but has not been an active student since early October.
The suspected arson attack early Sunday morning of a Corvallis mosque that Mohamud attended occasionally while living in Corvallis has further compounded an already troubling situation. OSU President Edward J. Ray released the following statement today:
While it is important to note that in the American criminal justice system our courts determine guilt or innocence, it is equally important to condemn the activities described in the FBI investigation of Mohamed Osman Mohamud as defenseless and reckless and having no place in civilized society. I share the outrage and shock expressed by others that anyone might have planned to cause such indiscriminate death and destruction.
We must not compound the harm already done by this incident but rather come together as a community here at Oregon State University and throughout the broader Corvallis community. With the support of that broader community we are educating our students to be global citizens and helping students learn about cultures, languages, histories and faith practices around the world. The fire reportedly set at Salman Al-Farisi Islamic Center on Sunday is an act of hate and cowardice, and I condemn it in the strongest terms. Members of the mosque include faculty, staff and students at our university, as well as friends and neighbors and are an important part of who we are as a community. They deserve our most heartfelt regrets for this despicable act and our ready hands to help rebuild what has been lost.
Some among us have expressed the desire to know what support services are available here at Oregon State for those among us who wish to talk through the circumstances with which we are dealing. Offices and individuals ready to help students may be found through Counseling and Psychological Services (541-737-2131), the Office of the Dean of Student Life (541-737-8748) and the Vice Provost for Student Affairs (541-737-3626); employees may contact Cascade Employee Assistance Program Services (1-800-433-2320).
There will be a candlelight vigil tomorrow evening, from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Salman Al-Farisi Islamic Center, 610 N.W. Kings Blvd. As other opportunities to support our friends and neighbors arise, we will share them through OSU internal media.