The FBI has identified six juveniles as “persons of interest” who allegedly made threats to HBCUs, the New York Times reports.
A law enforcement official said the FBI has identified the six “tech-savvy” persons of interest around the country, who deployed sophisticated tactics in disguising themselves as the source of the threats. The threats appear to be racially motivated.
The FBI said in a statement that they were “aware of bomb threats received by some Historically Black Colleges and Universities."
“The FBI takes all potential threats seriously, and we regularly work with our law enforcement partners to determine their credibility,” the statement continued.
The ATF also responded to the threats on Monday and are working with local law enforcement on the investigation, Acting Deputy Director Thomas Chittum added.
As EBONY previously reported, over a dozen HBCUs received bomb threats, prompting administrators to temporarily halt in-person classes and lockdown buildings as a cautionary measure.
The F.B.I. said its joint terrorism task forces were leading the investigation and the situation was “of the highest priority.” The agency has been working with 20 field offices throughout the country.
“Although at this time no explosive devices have been found at any of the locations, the F.B.I. takes all threats with the utmost seriousness and we are committed to thoroughly and aggressively investigating these threats,” the F.B.I. said noted.
Students at the HBCU campuses acknowledged that they were stressed and mentally exhausted while being on high alert due to the threats.
“A lot of us feel like this is political,” Joyce Dihi, a freshman at Spelman College said.
“There are people out there who don’t like that H.B.C.U.s support the excellence of Black people,” she continued.
So far, the authorities have not described any of the threats as credible.