According to a story released Thursday evening, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has identified six “tech savvy” juveniles spread across the country as the individuals behind recent bomb threats to historically Black Colleges and Universities. The minors appear to have used sophisticated methods to disguise the source of the threats.
The bureau said it was investigating the threats as racially or ethnically motivated violent extremism and hate crimes.
The bureau made the announcement during a week in which at least 17 historically Black colleges and universities received bomb threats, prompting administrators to temporarily cancel in-person classes and lock down buildings.
The F.B.I. said its joint terrorism task forces were leading the investigation, which was “of the highest priority” and involved more than 20 field offices across the country.
Among the universities receiving threats were: Howard, the University of the District of Columbia, also in Washington, D.C., Morgan State University and Coppin State University in Baltimore, Fort Valley State University in Fort Valley, GA, Kentucky State University in Frankfort, KY, Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans, Edward Waters University in Jacksonville, FL, Alcorn State University in Lorman, MS, Mississippi Valley State University in Itta Bena, MS, Rust College in Holly Springs, MS, Spelman College in Atlanta, Jackson State University in Jackson, MS, and Tougaloo College in Tougaloo, MS, all reported bomb threats, according to school officials and social media posts.
Morgan State University President David K. Wilson said in a statement to members of the university’s community that he was saddened to confirm that the school had received a bomb threat after being asked by several people “whether this is real.”
“Unfortunately, and sadly, it is,” he said. “My message to you this morning is to stay strong, remain resilient, and continue to prepare yourselves to grow the future and lead the world because our nation and world desperately need more leaders steeped in the values we teach here at Morgan,” he said. “Those values are Leadership, Integrity, Innovation, Diversity, Excellence and Respect. Hate is not one of them!”
Last November there was a string of bomb threats to several other universities including: Cleveland University, Yale University, Ohio University, Miami University, Cornell, Brown and Columbia, New York University, Hebrew Union College, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Southern California
Despite these threats, the FBI reports bomb threats in general are on the decline.
The F.B.I. reported 818 bomb threats in 2020, a decrease of 25% from 2019, and the lowest number in five years.