Miami-Dade County

Threat by FIU student leads to parking garage evacuation and canceled Israeli event

Police activity was seen coming out of the Florida International University’s Blue Garage on Nov. 2, 2017. Police evacuated the garage at the school’s main campus.
Police activity was seen coming out of the Florida International University’s Blue Garage on Nov. 2, 2017. Police evacuated the garage at the school’s main campus. Miami Herald

A 21-year-old Florida International University student, whose threat shut down a campus parking garage, is also at the center of an Israeli event cancellation in Miami Beach, university officials say.

On Thursday afternoon, the Miami-Dade Police Department received information that an FIU student had made a threat that would have impacted the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU. The venue was scheduled to host an event commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration of British support for a Jewish national home in Palestine. Officials canceled the event.

“Law enforcement located the student. While the student was being interviewed, an FIU police dog alerted to possible explosives in the student’s vehicle, located in the FIU Blue Garage on MMC,” said university spokeswoman, Maydel Santana. “The garage was evacuated and an emergency alert was sent out to avoid the area.”

County bomb squad detectives responded, ordering students to evacuate the Blue Garage at 10880 SW 16th St. Hours later, officials gave an all-clear.

Thursday evening, police identified the student as Oscar Aguayo. Police said he “sent out” telephone messages saying he wanted to “to raise havoc” at the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU on Miami Beach.

Aguayo will not be charged, but has been suspended by the university, police said Friday.

Though Miami Beach police deemed the Jewish Museum safe as well, the evening event was canceled as a precaution.

“It’s no surprise that people with different points of views on Israel will try to attack our freedom of speech at an event that was aimed at creating a dialogue,” said Lior Haiat, the consul general of Israel in Miami. “Whether or not the bomb threat is real, the threat itself is a form of terrorism; it terrorizes us to change our plans. They think that by doing that they can stop us from talking about it, but they won’t.”

Slated to speak at the event was the consul general of Great Britain and two professors from Tel Aviv University. Haiat said the event will be rescheduled before the end of the year.

Monique O. Madan: 305-376-2108, @MoniqueOMadan

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