Indiana State University professor, Azhar Hussain, was arrested for allegedly fabricating an anti-Muslim threat and assault, on Friday.
Hussain, 56, is an assistant professor of aviation technology. According to the Terre-Haute Tribune-Star, he was arrested and booked into Vigo County jail on Friday, on one charge of misdemeanor harassment and one charge of felony obstruction of justice.
The Tribune-Star reported:
“The charges stem from a series of emails that were received on campus containing anti-Muslim messages and threats of potential violence against members of the Muslim community, according to the university.
The first report of the emails occurred on March 8. The messages specifically mentioned Hussain as a target. On March 24, Hussain reported an assault in the College of Technology in which he said he was attacked from behind as he was entering his office early that morning. He told police he was thrown to the floor.
He said he had not seen his attacker, and no words were spoken. ISU Police at the time said four people in the vicinity were unable to corroborate his story, saying they’d seen no suspicious activity or people.”
According to the police, even though a motive for the alleged fabrication is still not known, Hussain was trying to gain the university administrators’ sympathy for being a victim of anti-Muslim hate crimes. Apparently, that’s due to Hussain’s poor teaching performance because the university was planning on not renewing his faculty position after the 2017-2018 academic year.
“Based upon the investigation, it is our belief that Hussain was trying to gain sympathy by becoming a victim of anti-Muslim threats, which he had created himself,” Joseph Newport, ISU’s chief of police, told the Tribune-Star.
“It is extremely unfortunate that this situation caused undue concern on other members of the ISU community,” he explained.
After tracing the anti-Muslim hate emails back to the location they had been sent from, investigators found that they were sent by Hussain to himself. ISU police were aided by an ISU computer engineer, the Indiana State Police, the FBI, and the Vigo County prosecutor’s office in the investigation.
The Star-Tribune reports that Hussain has been relieved of his duties at the school and university administrators are working to dismiss him immediately.