The Star Tribune reports that Azhar Hussain, an assistant professor at ISU has been arrested on charges alleging he made false reports of anti-Islamic threats against him and even reported an attack authorities say did not happen.
The 56-year old faces a felony charge of obstruction of justice and a misdemeanor charge of harassment. He is being held on $10,000 bond.
Indiana State University students received the following email yesterday:
Faculty member charged with obstruction of justice, harassment TERRE HAUTE — Azhar Hussain, an assistant professor of aviation technology at Indiana State University, was arrested today on a felony charge of obstruction of justice and a misdemeanor charge of harassment.
Provost Mike Licari indicated he has been immediately suspended from his teaching duties. 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. T
he first report of the emails occurred on March 8, 2017. The messages specifically mentioned Hussain as a target.
On March 24, Hussain reported an alleged assault in the College of Technology in which he was thrown to the floor.
Hussain had been notified recently by Licari that he would not be reappointed to his faculty position beyond the 2017-18 academic year due to the inability to fulfill the conditions of his original appointment. “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,” said Joseph Newport, chief of ISU’s police department.
“It is extremely unfortunate that this situation caused undue concern on other members of the ISU community,” said Newport, noting that campus crime alerts had been sent out following the first email and the alleged attack.
Aiding the ISU Office of Public Safety in the investigation was the Cybercrime and Investigative Technologies Section of the Indiana State Police and the ISU Information Technologies Security Engineer.
During the investigation, the ISU Police collaborated with the local FBI office and the Vigo County Prosecutor’s Office. The investigators were able to track the computers from which the emails originated and uncovered evidence to charge Hussain with sending the emails himself.
“I would like to thank the Indiana State Police Cyber Crimes Unit, the FBI and the Vigo County Prosecutor’s Office for their assistance in this investigation,” said Newport. Licari indicated that dismissal proceedings against Hussain would be started in accordance with university policy. Arrangements are being made to cover his remaining classes and administer final exams.
He’s innocent until proven guilty but the evidence is overwhelming.
His self-posted resume shows him having a doctorate from ISU in curriculum design earned in 2017, but the newspaper could not independently verify that degree listing on Friday afternoon.
Hussain is an aviation professor.