Bomb threats forced Howard University students to evacuate the school’s campus twice in 48 hours last week, just as they returned to school to start the fall semester.
The two bomb threats come just months after the school and other Historically Black Colleges and Universities had to lock down or delay the start of classes because of similar threats.
Two on-campus residence halls, East and West Towers, were evacuated early Friday morning due to the anonymous threats made to the Washington, DC, school, CNN reports.
The local police department and campus police conducted a sweep of the dorms with K-9 units, according to WUSA9. The buildings were given the all-clear later that morning.
“It was difficult for me to witness in person students sitting in Banneker Park and heading to trailers on Sherman Avenue and crossing Georgia Avenue on their way to Blackburn Center in their pajamas and sleepwear,” school president Wayne A. I. Frederick said in a letter. “This is terrorism, and it must stop.”
On Tuesday evening, another residence hall, Cook Hall, was evacuated after a bomb threat was made by phone, police said. The building was later cleared.
According to the letter issued by the university’s president, the latest incident marks the eighth time that a bomb threat has been made against the university since January.
“I want to be clear about the university’s position on the narrative of these threats,” Frederick wrote. “This isn’t about resilience and grit. We require extra resources from all law enforcement agencies directed towards solving this ongoing threat and bringing those who perpetrate its negative effects to full justice under the law.”
At least 57 HBCUs across the country have received bomb threats via phone calls, e-mails, instant messages and anonymous online posts since January, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. More than a dozen had to lock down or postpone classes on the first day of Black History Month after at least 18 HBCUs received bomb threats.
Following the series of threats, the Biden administration launched an FBI investigation in early February.
Since the start of the investigation six months ago, no arrests have been made. The FBI told CNN that the investigation of the threats remains ongoing and they are working with offices “across the country to pursue leads and identify the individuals responsible for making these criminally and racially motivated threats of violence.”
No arrests have yet been made in this latest incident at Howard University.