Former U Of I Student To Be Deported
By Jeff Bossert
A former University of Illinois student from Saudi Arabia arrested last month for allegedly making terrorist-like threats on campus is being deported.
Champaign County State’s Attorney Julia Reitz said Dany Sammak, 19, had been in custody in the county jail since Sept. 27.
He was taken into custody by federal authorities with the Department of Homeland Security Thursday, and is in the process of being returned to his native country.
On Saturday, Aug. 31, officers were called to a home in the 200 block of East Armory, where witnesses told Champaign Police that Sammak repeatedly threatened other residents and those from the U of I, making references to the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings. Witnesses also said Sammak frequently made shooting gestures with his hands at other residents.
After that arrest, and a series of interviews and consulting with other agents around the world, the investigative team concluded Sammak is not part of a larger plot to harm others.
He was also arrested in connection with separate incidents in late September, facing charges of aggravated battery to a peace officer and resisting a peace officer. Reitz said her office, University of Illinois Police, federal authorities, and Sammak’s attorney and family have worked to come to this resolution ‘in light of Sammak’s mental health issues.’
“All agreed that it was in Sammak’s best interest, as well as in the best interest of the community, that Sammak be transferred to the custody of federal authorities and face deportation to his home country to seek treatment for his mental health issues,” she said in a press release.
Reitz said criminal charges remain pending.