On the first day of Black History Month this week, there were a string of bomb threats made targeting historically Black colleges and universities in the U.S. The FBI announced today that it would be looking into those threats and investigating them as “racially or ethnically motivated violent extremism and hate crimes.”
“This investigation is of the highest priority for the bureau and involves more than 20 FBI field offices across the country,” the FBI said in a statement, noting the probe was “of the highest priority for the bureau.”
The FBI said it would be working with other local, state and federal law enforcement offices to investigate the threats. A bureau official told the Washington Post that the FBI is investigating the incidents as racially-motivated because of the language used in the warnings and the institutions that were threatened. No explosive devices were found at any of the 12-plus schools that have been targeted in the last month.
Congress is getting involved in the recent incidents as well. Members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and the House Education and Labor Committee sent a letter to the DOJ today requesting a briefing on the status of the investigation and the threats.
While the FBI said the investigation is still ongoing and the bureau hasn’t made any arrests, it reportedly has a lead. According to an official who spoke to NBC News, law enforcement believes at least six “tech savvy” minors are behind the racist threats. The young people of interest reportedly used a rather advanced method for disguising where the bomb threats originated. That’s all we know right now.
More than a dozen schools were targeted, including Howard University, the University of the District of Columbia, Morgan State University and Coppin State University in Baltimore. Some of the schools went into lockdown temporarily after the calls were received.
We’ll keep you updated as we learn more.
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