Skip to Navigation
University of Pittsburgh
Print This Page Print this pages

April 3, 2014

Statement from Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg

Bomb-threat suspect moved to “supervised residential control” in Ireland

nordenberg 2During the spring of 2012, the Pittsburgh campus went through a particularly disruptive period, when it was victimized by a series of bomb threats. In dealing with those threats, the safety of all members of the campus community was the top priority for the University.  Of course, that also was true before those threats were received and has been true for the nearly two years that now have passed since those threats ended.

Like everyone else who had the chance to observe the collective reaction of those most directly affected — particularly the responses of our students — I remain proud of the strength, resiliency, and selflessness that regularly were on display as we moved through that time of crisis. What easily could have become a divisive and even more disruptive experience, triggered by real inconvenience and understandable anxiety, instead produced new and lasting community bonds that are reflective of the commitment that we have to the University and to each other.

I am writing now to advise you that there has been a recent development regarding Adam Busby, the individual indicted as the person responsible for sending the emailed messages that threatened Pitt. Mr. Busby had been incarcerated in Ireland, while facing a number of charges and extradition requests. However, the Irish court system has authorized his transfer from prison to what is termed “supervised residential control.” Essentially, he now is living in a hostel on terms that are designed to restrict both his movement and his access to the Internet.

We were advised of this development by the United States Attorney and representatives of the FBI. As those who were on this campus two years ago will recall, law enforcement professionals from the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI, working with City of Pittsburgh police and representatives from other law enforcement agencies, provided invaluable assistance during that challenging time, and everyone who benefited from their help remains deeply grateful. And as would be expected, federal law enforcement remains actively engaged in seeking the extradition of Mr. Busby to this country so that he can be prosecuted on the charges arising out of the threats to Pitt.

To be clear, we do not expect a recurrence of the 2012 situation. However, we know that vigilance and preparation are important aspects of a safe community. Therefore, I wanted to advise you of this recent development. In doing so, let me also remind you that the professionals of the Pitt police department have received extensive training and are experienced in dealing with a wide range of threats.  The University also has established response-procedure protocols, developed an effective emergency notification system, and built important technological capacities, including tools that enable us to remotely monitor unfolding events and to secure at-risk facilities.

As noted above, Pitt has not stood alone in addressing such security issues, either during the bomb-threat siege or after the threats had ceased, and we continue to work cooperatively and collaboratively with other law enforcement agencies as one key dimension of our ongoing focus on safety. With the help of those agencies, we will continue to monitor this situation. And to underscore my main message, none of us expects a repeat of the disruptive threats that were experienced two years ago. My intent in informing you of this most recent development, then, is not to alarm you, but to let you know of this changed circumstance as part of ongoing efforts to ensure that we all remain alert and prepared.