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Student: Threat note a misunderstanding   Send a link to a friend

[August 10, 2007]  EDWARDSVILLE (AP) -- A Southern Illinois University student accused of writing a note threatening a Virginia Tech-like rampage said it was a misunderstanding blown out of proportion.

"I believe in God, and I believe God knows I have no intentions of ill will," Olutosin Oduwole said after pleading not guilty to a four-count indictment, which included a charge that he attempted to make a terrorist threat.

An indictment returned Thursday also accuses him of unlawful weapons possession, felony theft and computer fraud.

Oduwole was freed Wednesday after posting 10 percent of his $1.1 million bond.

"I'm just frustrated by this whole thing," he said. "I'm glad to be free and hope the public can see who I am and not who the media paints me to be."

Authorities have described him as trying to amass semiautomatic guns online and was seen walking around campus with a bullet-resistant vest.

Authorities have said the note found by campus police July 20 in Oduwole's disabled car did not specifically mention targeting the Edwardsville campus.

The note, authorities say, said "a murderous rampage similar to the VT shooting will occur at another highly populated university" if Oduwole wasn't paid $50,000. "THIS IS NOT A JOKE!" the note read.

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Oduwole, an aspiring rapper, countered Thursday that he had written the note months ago and had forgotten it was even in his car.

"It's something he wrote down while watching television," said one of his attorneys, Philip Dennis.

Dennis pressed his claim that Oduwole -- a U.S. citizen with a Nigerian passport -- was the victim of ethnic profiling. He said his client meant only to buy the weapons and quickly resell them for a profit -- " a good way to finance other endeavors," including his rap interests.

As a condition of his bond, Oduwole was barred from entering school grounds or coming within 1,500 feet of the university.

[Associated Press; by Jim Suhr]

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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