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May 13, 2017

Man who threatened to bomb Coolidge Hall taken into ICE custody

(Collegian File Photo)

Abdul F. Ismail, the Hadley resident who threatened to bomb Coolidge Hall on April 12, pleaded guilty on June 19 in Eastern Hampshire District Court. A press release from the Northwestern District Attorney stated Ismail was taken into custody by United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement later that day.

Ismail’s conviction has been placed “on file” for a year by Judge Thomas Estes, meaning no official sentence will be imposed if he avoids further legal trouble during that year, according to the press release.

Assistant District Attorney Andrew Covington, who prosecuted the case, asked for GPS monitoring and no contact with the University of Massachusetts student for conditions of probation, as reported by the Daily Hampshire Gazette.

The 27-year-old had initially met with a UMass student at her dormitory in Coolidge Hall on the night of April 11 through the dating app Tinder. Ismail then told the student he was “a terrorist” and he would blow up the building, making her his first victim.

The student contacted the UMass Police Department immediately after Ismail left, and he was arrested the morning of April 12 and charged with threatening to commit a crime.

MassLive reported that during an April hearing, Alan Rubin, Ismail’s attorney, explained Ismail arrived in the United States in 2013 seeking asylum from Ghana. Ismail hoped to receive a green card in March 2018 through a scheduled immigration hearing.

During the hearing in April, Covington said deportation proceedings have begun. However, Rubin explained how the process of seeking asylum includes deportation proceedings.

According to the Daily Hampshire Gazette, Shawn Neudauer, ICE spokesman for New England, said, “Ismail was previously arrested by federal immigration agents after crossing into the U.S. illegally in 2013.”

Neudauer also said, “The most recent conviction in Massachusetts has increased the significance of his case, and he will remain in ICE custody pending a bond hearing before the immigration court.”

This story will be updated as new information is released.

Abigail Charpentier can be reached at and followed on Twitter @abigailcharp.

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