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Fired worker threatened to bomb Jewish student center in Seattle

By Jonathan Kaminsky

(Reuters) - A worker who was fired from Hillel UW, a Jewish student center at the University of Washington in Seattle, has been arrested after he threatened to bomb the center, police said on Tuesday.

The 28-year-old man, whose name was withheld by authorities, was taken into custody at the offices of Hillel UW late on Monday on suspicion of making threats of violence, said Detective Mark Jamieson of the Seattle Police Department.

After being terminated from Hillel UW, the suspect threatened to blow up the center by mixing two toxic chemicals, then retreated to a supply closet, Jamieson said.

The man then inhaled toxic chemicals in an apparent suicide attempt, police said.

Jamieson said there was no evidence to suggest that the suspect's bombing threat was motivated by anti-Semitism.

"It does not appear that he was targeting that place because of its affiliation," Jamieson said. "This was an employee who was fired yesterday and then decided to take the actions that he did."

The building was evacuated and traffic was diverted from nearby streets for more than two hours as a police tactical team moved in to find the man, whom witnesses believed may have been carrying a knife.

They found him in the basement, where he was treated by medical personnel for inhalation of a mixture of bleach and ammonia, Jamieson said.

The suspect was taken under police custody to a nearby hospital for treatment where he remained overnight, he said.

Once medically cleared, authorities plan to book the man in jail and determine the appropriate charges to file against him. His mental health may be a factor in the case, Jamieson said.

Hillel UW serves the University of Washington's Jewish student population as both a community center and a place of worship. It is among hundreds of Hillel centers on college campuses across the United States and throughout the world.

(Editing by Dan Whitcomb and Bernadette Baum)

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