Subpoena Issued in Pitt Bomb Threat Case
A transgendered couple from Cambria County with ties to the University of Pittsburgh have been subpoenaed to appear before a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh that is investigating the rash of bomb threats at Pitt.
The couple, Seamus Johnston, 22, and Katherine Anne McCloskey, 56, said FBI agents visited their apartment in Jackson Township, outside of Johnstown, on Wednesday to discuss the bomb threats and served them with subpoenas Thursday. They were ordered to appear Tuesday before a grand jury.
“I asked if we were persons of interest and they nodded their heads,” said Ms. McCloskey, who was born as a man but has been living as a woman for a year.
“I told them during the first interview and again on Thursday I was not involved in this and don’t know anybody involved in it and I don’t know much about it other than what I see in the student newspaper,” said Mr. Johnston, who was born a woman but identifies as a man.
Until recently, Mr. Johnston was a junior honors student at Pitt’s Johnstown campus, majoring in computer science.
Mr. Johnston, who has been undergoing hormone treatments for 10 months, said the FBI agents told him he was being investigated because he had been expelled in January from Pitt-Johnstown over a clash with university authorities over which locker room he was allowed to use.
Ms. McCloskey, a Pitt-Johnstown alumnus, said she assumes Pitt authorities provided the couple’s names to FBI agents as individuals who had a dispute with the university. It is unclear whether other people with disputes with the university are being interviewed by FBI agents or have been subpoenaed.
The U.S. attorney’s office on Friday declined to comment on any aspect of the investigation.
In a statement released Wednesday, U.S. Attorney David J. Hickton’s said information from Pitt students and community members had helped investigators “focus on potential suspects” behind the series of three-dozen bomb threats, some involving multiple buildings, directed at the university since Feb. 13.
Mr. Johnston’s clashes with authorities at Pitt-Johnstown have became something of a cause celebre for the transgendered community at Pitt, and the dispute has been publicized both within and outside the university.