Texas student accused of graduation terror threat

BEAUMONT, Texas (AP) - A Lamar University doctoral student was charged with making a terroristic threat after allegedly sending an e-mail threatening to violently disrupt Saturday's commencement ceremony because he was upset he couldn't graduate.

Daniel Ogwoka Siringi, 34, was arraigned Thursday on the third-degree felony charge, Police Officer David Byars said.

Investigators said Siringi denied any involvement in the anonymous e-mail sent to the school's president and said secretaries in the graduate office were trying to victimize him. His attorney, Bruce Hoffer, could not be reached Thursday.

The e-mail threatened to place people "in fear of serious bodily harm," according to a police affidavit.

Jefferson County District Attorney Tom Maness told KFDM-TV that the threat was comparable to the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings in which a student killed 32 people before turning the gun on himself. Maness said he could not elaborate on the exact nature of the harm but said no guns were found.

"We don't take this lightly, we have zero tolerance for these," Maness told the Beaumont Enterprise.

Siringi, a chemical engineering doctoral student, was denied graduation because he missed a deadline on his dissertation, said Kevin B. Smith, Lamar's senior associate provost for academic affairs.

Siringi remained in custody Thursday on a $200,000 bond. If convicted, Siringi could face up to 10 years in state prison and $200,000 fine, Maness said.