LYNCHBURG, Va. – In a fiery speech Friday, Liberty University President, Dr. Jerry Falwell, Jr., called on students to take up arms against Islam, telling the Christian campus the time had come to “end those Muslims.” Falwell urged the overwhelmingly white student body to obtain firearm permits and openly carry loaded weapons both on and off campus.
“Let’s teach them a lesson if they ever show up here,” Falwell declared before a packed stadium of cheering students, many of whom could be heard chanting “God is great.” Immediately following the convocation, celebratory gunfire erupted around the campus with both students and faculty in participation.
The FBI announced Saturday that it has launched an investigation into the university’s possible ties to Christian extremist groups. “In light of recent events, we’re taking this very seriously,” FBI Special Agent Tariq al-Aghbar said during a press conference in Washington. The FBI has obtained a “treasure trove” of audio and video footage shot in secret by an unidentified Liberty University student. The Bureau would not disclose its content, however, Special Agent al-Aghbar described the footage as “very disturbing stuff.”
President Barack Obama asked the Department of Justice to look into Liberty University alumni after local CBS affiliate WDBJ7 reported the university has received more than four million rounds of ammunition and several hundred “long guns” in the form of “gifts and donations” from former students since September of 2014. A DOJ official speaking on condition of anonymity told The Washington Post there is “overwhelming evidence of radicalization” taking place on the Lynchburg-based campus.
In a statement released Saturday, Dr. Falwell reassured supporters he is “not backing down” and vowed to do everything in his power to secure the campus from the “impending wave of Islam that is violently approaching the sandy beaches of America.” President Obama is expected to speak on the matter in a special address to the nation regarding domestic terrorism at 8 p.m. EST Sunday evening.