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The FBI is now investigating ‘violent extremism and hate crimes’ made to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) after recent series of bomb threats – six juvenile suspects are being probed.
More than a dozen HBCUs – including Howard University, Kentucky State University and Morgan State, received bombs threats at the start of Black History Month on Tuesday.
As a result, the FBI said it was investigating six ‘tech savvy’ juveniles, whose identities were not released, who are believed to have made the racially motivated threats.
‘These threats are being investigated as racially or ethnically motivated violent extremism and hate crimes,’ the federal agency wrote in a press release on Wednesday.
‘This investigation is of the highest priority for the Bureau and involves more than 20 FBI field offices across the country.’
Although ‘no explosive devices were been found at any of the locations’, the FBI said it was ‘committed to thoroughly and aggressively investigating these threats.’
No charges have been pressed yet.
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Fourteen historically black colleges and universities (HBCU) were threatened on February 1 – the first day of Black History Month – including Howard, the University of DC, Kentucky State, and Edward Waters University
The FBI called the bomb threats ‘racially and ethnically motivated’ and said it had more than 20 field offices working together to investigate. In addition, the FBI is investigating six ‘tech savvy’ juveniles believed to be involved
The 14 HBCUs that received bomb threats on the first day of Black History Month
- Howard University – DC
- University of the District of Columbia, – DC
- Morgan State University – Baltimore
- Coppin State University – Baltimore
- Fort Valley State University in Fort Valley – Georgia
- Kentucky State University
- Xavier University of Louisiana
- Edward Waters University – Florida
- Alcorn State University – Mississippi
- Mississippi Valley State University
- Rust College – Mississippi
- Spelman College – Georgia
- Jackson State University – Mississippi
- Tougaloo College – Mississippi
Source: NBC News
Howard University was one of the first to receive a shelter-in-place order on Tuesday. Students received the notification around 3.30am. The school would issue an ‘all clear’ notification around 7.30am.
‘The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) and the Howard University Department of Police have issued an ‘ALL CLEAR’ in the investigation of a bomb threat made this morning at approximately 2:55 a.m. The Shelter-In-Place directive has been lifted,’ the school tweeted at 7.30am on Tuesday.
Thirteen other schools, including the University of DC and Morgan State University, were also threatened and shut down campus ‘due to bomb threats.’
Morgan State University closed its campus shortly after 6am, only allowing ’emergency personnel to assess the situation’ and asked their students to ‘shelter in place’ and attend classes remotely. It wasn’t until 2pm that the state university finished its ‘thorough and exhaustive sweep of campus’ – which included all residential buildings on-and-off-campus.
‘Unfortunately, and sadly, it is [real],’ Morgan State University President David K. Wilson said in a statement. ‘Morgan is one of the most historical and consequential universities in the nation. Our history has been one where we have endured all kinds of challenges and disruptions, but we have always emerged stronger.’
Kentucky State University sent its students into complete lockdown sometime before 6am and ‘suspended’ all university operations and restricted entry access to its campus.
Howard University was one of the first schools that was threatened, placing their students on lockdown around 3.30am
It gave the all-clear around 8am after law enforcement officials completed their investigations.
Edward Waters University and Fort Valley also both shut down their campuses for a short period of time.
In addition to the five schools, the University of the District of Columbia, Coppin State University, Xavier University of Louisiana, Alcorn State University, Mississippi Valley State University, Rust College, Spelman College, Jackson State University, and Tougaloo College were threatened, MSNBC reported.
In addition, Southern University, A&M College, Bethune-Cookman University, Albany State University, Bowie State University, and Delaware State University also received bomb threats in the last few days and five other schools had threats in early January.
Several schools had to lock down their campuses and tell students to shelter in place while authorities investigated the threats
Edwards Waters University was among the 14 school who were threatened on February 1
Fort Valley State University were also among the school who had bomb threats
Daytona Beach Police Chief Jakari Young said his department received a 20-minute call at 4.32am on Monday, threatening Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach. The school was placed on lockdown Monday morning.
The caller claimed to be affiliated with a Neo-Nazi group and claimed they had hidden seven C4 explosives in backpacks and duffel bags around the Daytona Beach campus, which they said would detonate at noon.
They also claimed there would be an active shooter on campus at 12.30pm.
Young said in a Monday press conference that the caller identified himself with the Atomwaffen Division, an international right-wing extremist and Neo-Nazi terrorist organization.
Police said that by 11am they had ‘cleared the campus of any bomb threat’ after searching building-by-building, but added that they will remain at the campus for the rest of the day. Classes were canceled at the university.