Morgan State University President David K. Wilson

Morgan State University President David K. Wilson

FBI Terrorism Task Force Investigates HBCU Bomb Threats

The suspects tried to disguise the source of the threats, which appear to be racially motivated.

Morgan State University President David K. Wilson
Morgan State University President David K. Wilson

More than 20 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU’s) are locking down their campuses and canceling classes amid the latest rash of bomb threats.

The bomb threats began January 4, 2022, with many more HBCU’s targeted the next day and through the beginning of Black History Month.

The FBI said its joint terrorism task forces are leading the investigations, which are “of the highest priority,” and involved more than 20 field offices across the country. They have identified six “tech-savvy” juveniles as persons of interest. The suspects tried to disguise the source of the threats, which appear to be racially motivated, though at press time no one has been publicly charged.

“No explosives were found at any of the institutions, but for many students and faculty on these campuses, the intended effects—fear, anxiety, confusion, exhaustion—coupled with the persistence of the Covid-19 pandemic, have taken a toll on all members of our campus and community. As always, we would like to remind members of the public that if they observe anything suspicious to report it to law enforcement immediately,” said Howard University President Wayne A.I. Frederick.

Given the long history of White supremacy-related bombings—the 1963 bombing of Birmingham’s 16th Street Baptist Church, the KKK’s bombings of civil rights leaders’ homes, a bus blown up during the Freedom Rides—the messages here resonate.

Howard University President Wayne A.I. Frederick
Howard University President Wayne A.I. Frederick

Morgan State University President David K. Wilson said in a statement that he was saddened to confirm that his school had also received a bomb threat. “Unfortunately, and sadly, it is [true],” said Wilson. “The campus is being searched building by building, with residential halls being searched first.”

He continued, “My message to students is to stay strong, remain vigilant and 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. Those values are Leadership, Integrity, Innovation, Diversity, Excellence and Respect. Hate is not one of them.”

Students and faculty at the nation’s HBCU’s shared their concerns about the wave of HBCU bomb threats. “‘One affects all’ at Historically Black Colleges and Universities,” said an alumna of NC’s Fayetteville State University. “Just say their names!”

And so we do. At press time, the following HBCU’s have recently received bomb threats:

Albany State University, Albany, GA; Alcorn State University, Lorman, MS; Bethune–Cookman University, Daytona Beach, FL; Bowie State University, Bowie, MD; Coppin State University, Baltimore, MD; Delaware State University, Dover, DE; Edward Waters University, Jacksonville, FL; Fort Valley State University, Fort Valley, GA; Harris–Stowe State University, St. Louis, MO; Howard University, Washington, DC; Jackson State University, Jackson, MS; Kentucky State University, Frankfort, KY; Mississippi Valley State University, Bena, MS; Morgan State University, Baltimore, MD; North Carolina Central University, Durham, NC; Philander Smith College, Little Rock, AR; Prairie View A&M, Prairie View, TX; Rust College, Holly, MS; Southern University and A&M College, Baton Rouge, LA; Spelman College, Atlanta, GA; Tougaloo College, Tougaloo, MS; University of the District of Columbia, Washington, DC; Xavier University, New Orleans, LA.

 

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