The FBI has identified six “tech-savvy” juveniles as persons of interest in the bomb threats made against numerous HBCU schools in recent weeks.
NBC News reports a law enforcement official said the individuals used sophisticated tools to hide the source of the threats, and the threats seemed to be racially motivated. The names of the six individuals were not released.
The agency added it found no explosive devices on any HBCU campus, but the FBI is treating the threats “with the utmost seriousness.”
In a statement sent to The Hill, the FBI said the investigation is of the highest priority and involves “more than 20 FBI field offices across the country,” adding that the threats are being investigated as “Racially or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremism and hate crimes.”
Six HBCUs, Howard University, Bowie State University, Delaware State University, Bethune-Cookman University, Albany State University, Southern University, and A&M College, received bomb threats Monday, the first day of Black History Month. Early last month, another seven HBCUs, including Howard, received bomb threats.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki called the HBCU bomb threats “disturbing” in a Monday press briefing and added that President Joe Biden had been made aware of the threats.
Morgan State University President David K. Wilson said in a statement to community members that he was saddened to confirm that the school had received a bomb threat after being asked by several people “whether this is real.”
“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 according to NBC. “Those values are Leadership, Integrity, Innovation, Diversity, Excellence and Respect. Hate is not one of them!”
HBCU schools have received significant attention in recent years. HBCUs received millions in donations during the 2020 Black Lives Matter movement and Vice President Kamala Harris, a Howard graduate.