WASHINGTON, D.C. — Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are on high alert again as police investigate more bomb threats targeting these institutions.
During the first week of school, Howard University students got alerts for not one, but two bomb threats.
“This is an attack on black scholars. This is an attack on HBCUs,” said Alecia Taylor, Howard University Junior.
These threats are the latest ones after dozens of HBCUs nationwide reported bomb threats earlier this year which caused schools to cancel classes and lockdown campuses.
Howard University has had 8 reported threats so far this year.
“It’s just it takes a lot away from my academic experience and the fact that I am here and trying to enjoy life when all of this negative stuff happened,” said Carmen Thomas, Howard University Sophomore.
This comes as the FBI’s investigation into these nationwide threats hits six months with no arrests and no suspects named. In a written statement to the Washington News Bureau, the FBI said it “continues to work with our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners across the country to pursue leads and identify the individuals responsible for making these criminally and racially motivated threats of violence.”
“I just couldn’t comprehend why anybody would even think of doing this,” said Thomas.
The FBI says no explosives have been found following these threats but, in this letter, Howard University President Wayne A. I. Frederick talked about how these threats are affecting students. He added “this is terrorism, and it must stop”
President Frederick added that the university needs extra resources from law enforcement to solve these threats.
But some students say they also want more from federal leaders.
“It’s a political and social climate that we’re going through, address it so people know that this isn’t okay, and it shouldn’t be happening,” said Taylor.
The U.S. Department of Education is also offering grants to HBCUs affected by these bomb threats for additional security and mental health support.
At this point, we know of at least one HBCU, Southern University Law Center, that has received this funding.
Below is the full statement from the FBI about this ongoing investigation:
“The investigation into the nationwide series of bomb threats to Historically Black Colleges and Universities and houses of worship remains ongoing. The FBI continues to work with our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners across the country to pursue leads and identify the individuals responsible for making these criminally and racially motivated threats of violence. We also continue our efforts to establish and build relationships of trust with academic and faith leaders, and maintain our commitment to keeping open dialogue and sharing threat information.
The FBI takes all threats seriously and we regularly work with our law enforcement partners to determine their credibility and keep our communities safe. As students across the country begin returning to school, the FBI offers a reminder that issuing a threat is a crime and those who post or send threats can face federal, state, or local charges. As always, we ask the public to report threatening or suspicious activity to law enforcement immediately.”
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