The FBI is investigating a wave of bomb threats to historically Black colleges and universities as hate crimes, and has identified as many as six people — all juveniles — who investigators suspect were involved. Because of what the callers making the threats said — and because of the institutions targeted — the FBI is exploring the threats as being motivated by racial or ethnic hatred, reports the Washington Post. No one has been publicly charged. The investigation, which is being led by the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Forces and involves more than 20 field offices, is “of the highest priority for the bureau," the FBI said. In addition to colleges, houses of worship have also been targeted.
At least 16 universities closed or swept their campuses Tuesday after a spate of early-morning threats targeting historically Black campuses. The threats were part of a wave to hit schools this year. At least eight schools were threatened Jan. 4, and at least six were targeted Monday. On Tuesday, the schools targeted include: Rust College, Tougaloo College, Jackson State University and Alcorn State University in Mississippi, as well as Mississippi Valley State University; Fort Valley State University and Spelman College in Georgia; Morgan State University and Coppin State University in Maryland; Harris-Stowe State University in Missouri; Kentucky State University; Xavier University of Louisiana; Philander Smith College in Arkansas; Edward Waters University in Florida; Howard University; and the University of the District of Columbia. Howard, the target of three threats in just under a month, is on heightened alert, said spokesman Frank Tramble. Students reported feeling anxious and worried.