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FBI: Minor targeted HBCUs, including Morgan State and Coppin State, with racially motivated threats

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BALTIMORE - A minor has been identified as being responsible for many racially-motivated threats of violence targeting Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

The FBI says that the minor is believed to be responsible for a majority of the threats and the Department of Justice has worked with state prosecutors to hold the minor accountable.

Since January 2022, more than 50 HBCUs, houses of worship and other faith-based and academic institutions across the country have received racially motivated threats of violence.

On February 1, Morgan State and Coppin State, in Baltimore, were targeted by bomb threats. Bowie State University was one of at least six HBCUs to receive a threat on January 31.

Leaders of the nation's Historically Black Colleges and Universities spoke out last February after those series of bomb threats disrupting schools and classrooms nationwide.

Dr. David Wilson, President of Morgan State University, was one of those leaders to testify at a congressional hearing on violence at HBCU campuses, calling for an end to violent intimidation.

"That type of stuff gives me anxiety because a bomb threat is so serious," said Tiasia Jones, a Morgan student.

The investigation of these threats led to the identification of several minors believed to be responsible for the first set of threats made between January 4 and February 1, 2022. Further FBI investigation identified one minor believed to be responsible for these threats.

Given the federal limitations for charging under-age perpetrators with federal crimes, the Department of Justice worked with state prosecutors to hold them accountable on charges unrelated to the specific threats to the HBCUs. This individual is under restrictions and monitoring of his online activities.

Because of the subject's age, no additional information can be provided.

The FBI is continuing to investigate additional unrelated threats that appear to have originated overseas:

  • A distinct set of threats primarily targeting HBCUs received between February 8 and March 2, affecting at least 19 institutions.
  • A distinct set of threats which began June 7 and are ongoing. More than 250 colleges—including seven HBCUs—over 100 high schools, and two junior high schools received bomb and/or active shooter threats.

"Hate-fueled and racist threats of violence cause the victims real distress," the FBI said. "These threats disrupt the learning environment and the education of college students, as well as other citizens. The FBI will not tolerate anyone trying to instill fear in any community, especially one that has experienced violence and threats of violence historically. The FBI will continue to vigorously pursue anyone responsible for these ongoing threats with help from our law enforcement partners at the federal, state, and local levels."

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