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Missoula police investigated last week after a woman said she overheard two people at a restaurant — including a woman wearing a “Middle Eastern-style headwrap” — talking about making a bomb.

The investigation found that the complaint was without merit.

The Montana Kaimin, the student newspaper at the University of Montana, published a story on Saturday after interviewing the Muslim couple, both students, who were the subject of the complaint and subsequent investigation.

The students, who were not identified, told the Kaimin they brought their story to the paper “to show what Muslims in America deal with.”

Sgt. Travis Welsh confirmed Monday that the department received a report last week from a woman who was eating at a restaurant and said she overheard a couple “talking about making a bomb.”

Police recovered surveillance footage from the restaurant and circulated photos of the couple to patrol officers to keep an eye out for them. Welsh said last week an officer saw the woman at a bus stop and that she agreed to come to the police station to be interviewed.

She also allowed officers to search her home, where police also met the man. Both were interviewed and released, and Welsh said nothing suspicious was found at the home. The complaint was determined to be unfounded and the case has been closed.

Welsh said it is rare for the department to receive a complaint like the one last week, but given the subject matter he said officers needed to investigate the situation fully.

“We have to take complaints like this seriously'' he said. "We take all complaints seriously.''


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