Va. Governor Challenges Report on Colleges as Terror Breeding Grounds

April 30, 2009

Gov. Timothy Kaine of Virginia said officials there will investigate how a unit of the state police came to conclude that several religious and historically black colleges in the state were nodes for radicals and potential terrorists, as it suggested in a leaked report, The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk reported. The newspaper reported Sunday that a "threat assessment" report produced by the Virginia Fusion Center, a multi-agency organization housed in state police headquarters, concludes that "Virginia's network of colleges and universities also represent a potential avenue of entry for terrorist operatives and a possible forum for recruitment of sympathizers," and that student groups at unnamed historically black colleges in and around Norfolk "are recognized as a radicalization node for almost every type of extremist group." It also mentions Regent University, which is affiliated with the evangelist Pat Robertson. While the report acknowledges that its authors did not have evidence linking the colleges to terrorists, "I find the depictions in the report misleading and believe it improperly implicates these fine academic institutions," Kaine said in announcing a state review of the report and the agency that produced it.

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