Man arrested following business, mosque bomb threats

AUSTIN -- A man in his 50s is accused of making bomb threats at a Muslim business and the community center where he was staying Tuesday, according to a Travis County arrest affidavit.

According to the Austin Police Department, 54-year-old Azzam Ahmed Baytie made two bomb threats at a North Austin Muslim Community Center and a Middle Eastern-style food truck near the Arab Cowboy Cafe and Hookah Lounge. The community center is in North Austin, and the cafe is located in West Campus.

Staff at the community center called Austin-Travis County EMS just after 7 a.m. Tuesday. They said the man had some kind of medical issue, possibly psychiatric problems.

According to the arrest affidavit, police found Baytie rolling around the ground in front the community center. Baytie told medics he had taken five Ambilify to harm himself, a drug that treats schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression.

On the way to the hospital, police said the man told EMS workers he put bombs at the two locations. Investigators did not find explosive devices at either location.

Officers evacuated about 50 students from the apartment complex behind the cafe in West Campus.

Baytie is charged with terroristic threat, a third-degree felony.

Baytie was previously found guilty of making a terroristic threat and criminal trespassing after a 2008 incident at the same mosque at the North Austin Muslim Community Center. Baytie reportedly told police he had a bomb in his backpack. Authorities scanned the backpack with an X-ray machine and found electronic parts inside, prompting them to destroy the backpack as a precaution.


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