Southeast Missouri State assured by FBI no terror threat exists - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Southeast Missouri State assured by FBI no terror threat exists

Quazi Nafis was a cyber security major at Southeast. Quazi Nafis was a cyber security major at Southeast.
Why Nafis chose Southeast remains unclear. Why Nafis chose Southeast remains unclear.
President Dobbins sent out a letter to all students and staff on Thursday. President Dobbins sent out a letter to all students and staff on Thursday.

The national spotlight is now on the Cape Girardeau campus of 11,000 students.

"It was a complete and utter shock to everyone and a lot of people couldn't believe it actually happened, said student Colten McLaughlin. 

Disbelief at Southeast Missouri State University as students try to make sense of the alleged terror plot, all orchestrated by a former SEMO student.

"I'm like wow, so close to home," said student Larkin Shavers. "Can't believe he came to this university and went to do something horrible like that."

21-year-old Quazi Nafis of Bangladesh was enrolled at Southeast in the spring semester.

According to university president Ken Dobbins, all international students are first cleared through the Department of Homeland Security through the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System, or SEVIS.

"We just need to make sure that when they leave, we tell them (Homeland Security)," said Dr. Dobbins. "That's what happened in this case, he went to New York."

Dobbins said Nafis transferred to a school in Brooklyn.

Why Nafis chose Southeast remains unclear.

"It appears this was an apparent entry for him to do what he wanted to do," said Dobbins.

Dr. Dobbins says the university does recruit Bangladeshi students, saying there are about 40 from that country on campus today.

"There are individuals that want to do harm to people, and we shouldn't stereotype all international students that they are the ones," said Dr. Dobbins. 

Southeast has more than 800 international students enrolled from about 40 countries.

"It's hitting home with the international students making people look at them suspiciously," said Larkin Shavers. 

Quazi Nafis was a cyber security major, however university officials say Nafis never took one cyber security class on Southeast's campus.

Dobbins said the freshman only enrolled in prerequisite classes.

Dobbins also said the campus Department of Public Safety continues to work with the FBI on this case.

"The FBI is comfortable saying there is no safety issue here and this was not a target for terrorism," said Dobbins. 

"I think it's a safe college, just one incident that happened," said Larkin Shavers. 

It's an incident where no one was hurt as Nafis was stopped before the alleged attack.

"The U.S. government has a system to find these terrorists," said Dobbins. "We should all be glad that it works."

President Dobbins sent out a letter to all students and staff on Thursday.

He said he wants everyone to know what happened, and reassure them that the campus is safe.

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