ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) - The University of St. Catherine's is ordering an outside review of its safety procedures after a former student allegedly distributed an al-Qaeda recruitment letter and subsequently lit a series of small fires on campus to protest U.S. military action in the Middle East.
A federal judge approved a detention order for Tnuza Jamal Hassan Monday, citing her "extraordinary danger to the community" and "significant flight risk," according to court documents. She is currently facing charges for terrorism and making false statements to an FBI agent, as well as two counts of arson--one in federal court and one in Ramsey County.
Now, authorities at St. Catherine's are trying to figure out how the 19-year-old was radicalized and managed to "hide out" on campus for a week or two after she was reported missing by her family early last month, with the hopes that similar incidents in the future can be prevented. She was ultimately arrested for arson Jan. 17, and officials maintain there is no evidence anyone else was involved or that there is any threat to public safety.
"We understand this is a challenging situation for our community, and appreciate your continued support as we work through this situation as it unfolds," said St. Catherine's President Becky Roloff in a statement. "We are extremely grateful for the quick and thorough response of law enforcement officials, Residence Life, and our Public Safety team to ensure our campuses and our community are safe."
As students settle into their spring semester studies they're already noticing more security officers on patrol and more communication from school leaders relating to the case. As for shifting security parameters, most students are hoping for continued transparency moving forward--with plenty of opportunities to share their feedback on any proposed changes.
“[We're looking for] lots of discussions you can go to where you can be heard, and different talks [about the changes]," St. Kate's student Georgie Morris said. "Things like that."
The university has not yet given the details on whom it will retain to conduct the review, though they hope to use the results to "inform any procedural changes or updates that may be needed," according to the release.