ALLEGAN, Mich. (WOOD) - The Allegan High School auditorium was evacuated Thursday evening after authorities became aware of a bounty on the head of a speaker scheduled to appear at an event there.
Allegan Public Schools Superintendent Kevin Harness said the auditorium had been rented out for an event paid for by Allegan County Commissioner Bill Sage. It was not a school event.
The speaker was Kamal Saleem. Saleem claims he is a former terrorist. He travels around the country speaking at events.
Just before the event, police were made aware of a $25 million bounty on Saleem's head by Sagem, authorities said.
Saleem's bodyguard told police that Islamic terrorists who follow the teaching of the Quran that have been directed to behead Saleem.
Allegan Police Chief Rick Hoyer told 24 Hour News 8 said that when police learned that information, they felt they did not have enough officers to make the event safe.
"We did not have adequate info to provide a safe environment for this event," Hoyer said.
Hoyer said that attendees did not want to leave the event at first.
"People in the audience were upset. They were concerned we were trying to censor them," said Hoyer. "We assured them we were not trying to censor them or step on their First amendment rights."
There were 3 other school-sponsored sporting events at which students were present going on in the school at the time of the event. Attendees of those sporting events were not evacuated.
Sage's event was called "Constituting Michigan - Founding Principles Act." The event was scheduled for 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
According to a web page administered by Sage, Saleem was going to speak about his life as a hired terrorist and committing acts against the United States.
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