Six “tech savvy” juveniles have been identified as persons of interest by the FBI in threats to historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) that appear to be racially motivated, reports NBC News. More than a dozen historically Black colleges and universities received bomb threats on Tuesday, the first day of Black History Month.
A law enforcement official says the FBI has identified six persons of interest around the country, all juveniles, who are suspected of making the threats. The official says they appear to be “tech savvy,” using sophisticated methods to try to disguise the source of the threats, which appear to have a racist motivation.
Howard University was among the first to issue a shelter-in-place order early Tuesday — just a day after the school and several other historically Black colleges and universities received similar threats.
A bomb threat against the university is being investigated,” an alert from Howard University said, according to NBC Washington. “All persons on campus are advised to shelter in place until more information is available.”
The emergency alert was timestamped at 3:29 a.m. Tuesday, the first day of Black History Month. An all-clear was later issued for Howard following a probe.
In addition to 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, Georgia, Kentucky State University in Frankfort, Kentucky, Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans, Edward Waters University in Jacksonville, Florida, Alcorn State University in Lorman, Mississippi, Mississippi Valley State University in Itta Bena, Mississippi, Rust College in Holly Springs, Mississippi, Spelman College in Atlanta, Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi, and Tougaloo College in Tougaloo, Mississippi, all reported bomb threats, according to school officials and social media posts.
Like Howard, Kentucky State, Jackson State, the University of the District of Columbia, Tougaloo College and Coppin State issued “all-clear” alerts after finding the threats to be unsubstantiated soon after reporting the threats.
Additional threats were reported at a number of other colleges and universities.