U.S. deports University of Washington student from India who made social media threats

US DEPORTEDSEATTLE — The former University of Washington (UW) student from India who was arrested in June for threatening a campus shooting on social media was deported last week on Wednesday by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Keshav Mukund Bhide, 24, departed on an international flight from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Special agents from HSI and the FBI escorted Bhide to the airport and confirmed his departure. He cannot return to the U.S. for 10 years.

According to court records, in June police learned of multiple social media threats by a Google user “Foss Dark.” Some of the comments discussed support of the University of California, Santa Barbara shooter, Elliot Rodger, whose killing spree in May left six dead and seven injured. Further investigation connected “Foss Dark” to Bhide and revealed his intentions to carry out an attack against women on the UW Seattle campus.

Bhide was arrested and charged in both state and federal court. He was convicted of cyberstalking in King County Superior Court December 11 and sentenced to a six-month suspended sentence. In an agreement with federal prosecutors, the federal indictment for making interstate threats will be dismissed when he departs the United States.

In October, the university notified HSI’s Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) it had terminated Bhide’s student status. HSI special agents initiated removal proceedings against Bhide and on December 18 an immigration judge ordered him removed. As part of the removal order, Bhide is banned from returning to the U.S. for a period of 10 years. Should he re-enter or attempt to re-enter the U.S. during that period, federal prosecutors may refile the federal charges against him, court records state.

The SEVP monitors approximately one million international students who are pursuing academic or vocational studies (F and M visa holders) in the United States and their dependents. It also certifies schools and programs that enroll these students. The U.S. Department of State monitors exchange visitors (J visa holders) and their dependents, and oversees exchange visitor programs.

Both use Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) to protect national security by ensuring that students, visitors and schools comply with U.S. laws. SEVP also collects and shares SEVIS information with government partners, including U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, so only legitimate international students and exchange visitors gain entry into the United States.

HSI reviews SEVIS records for possible violations and refers cases with potential national security or public safety concerns to its field offices for further investigation. Additionally, SEVP’s Analysis and Operations Center reviews student and school records for administrative compliance with federal regulations related to studying in the United States.