No Arrests Have Been Made after HBCU Bomb Threats. Leaders Want Answers.
Leaders of historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) are calling on federal agencies to do more after several bomb threats rocked their campuses six months ago.
Inside Higher Ed reports that more than a third of HBCUs received bomb threats this year since January. Many threats continued throughout Black History Month in February. No bombs were ultimately found in investigations, but students and faculty say the repeated threats are taking a toll on mental health.
HBCUs are “a place where we’re supposed to be able to come feel safe and have a sense of belonging and develop into these leaders,” Kennedy Reid, a third-year student at North Carolina A&T State University, which received a threat in early February, tells Inside Higher Ed. “It’s very hard to also hear that there are people who don’t want you in those spaces and they’re coming to infiltrate and impact a space that does want you.”
FEDERAL INVESTIGATION BRINGS NO ARRESTS
No arrests have been made since the FBI launched an investigation in February. The FBI says it has 34 field offices working the case and is taking all threats seriously. A big obstacle, according to the FBI, is that some of the threats were sent using encrypted platforms, which makes them “challenging for attribution.”
Some leaders, such as Dwaun Warmack, president of Claflin University in South Carolina, say they’re frustrated about the situation and the time and effort spent responding to such threats.
“You don’t get that time back,” Warmack says. Meanwhile “no one is brought to justice, and then you have to go back to business as usual.”
“I’m beyond frustrated,” Carmen Walters, president of Tougaloo College, says. “I’m very angry that no one has been brought to justice, but there’s been no conversation about the investigation at all.”
A statement released by the FBI says that the investigation into the threats is ongoing, and the agency is working to keep college leaders informed.
“The FBI continues to work with our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners across the country to pursue leads and identify the individuals responsible for making these criminally and racially motivated threats of violence,” the statement read. “We also continue our efforts to establish and build relationships of trust with academic and faith leaders, and maintain our commitment to keeping open dialogue and sharing threat information.”
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