By Stephanie Saul
Federal officials and the local police are investigating burglaries and hate literature that appear to be directed at Muslim students attending Idaho State University in Pocatello, where tensions have recently risen over an influx of students from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
In an email to Idaho State faculty and students Wednesday, the university’s president, Arthur C. Vailas, said the homes of about 50 Middle Eastern students had been burglarized over the past several weeks. “As a result of these crimes, some of our students are seriously considering leaving I.S.U. and Pocatello,” the email said.
The burglaries follow reports that 17 vehicles, many belonging to Middle Eastern students, were vandalized last year, Mr. Vailas’s email said. More recently, DVDs containing hate messages were left on a number of car windshields on campus.
The Pocatello police chief, Scott Marchand, said that his office was investigating the burglaries but had received reports of about two dozen, not 50. He also said there had been about 70 residential burglaries in town since Jan. 1.
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