More than 20 field offices are investigating bomb threats made to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and houses of worship, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said in a statement Wednesday.
The FBI’s statement addressed bomb threats made Tuesday against more than a dozen HBCUs, including Howard University, Spelman College, and Jackson State University, NBC News reported. The threat, made on the first day of Black History Month, prompted the HBCUs to shelter in place while local investigations occurred, the outlet also reported. Six juveniles have reportedly been identified by the FBI as “persons of interest” in connection to making the threats.
The FBI reacted to the threats, labeling them as “racially or ethnically motivated violent extremism and hate crimes.”
“The FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces are leading the investigation into the nationwide series of bomb threats to Historically Black Colleges and Universities and houses of worship. This investigation is of the highest priority for the Bureau and involves more than 20 FBI field offices across the country,” the statement read in part.
“We are working closely with our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners; coordinating with the targeted institutions; and meeting with academia and faith leaders to share information,” the statement continued.
The FBI also noted they had not found any explosive devices at the various locations targeted. (RELATED: Report: Professor At Historically Black College Under Investigation For Alleged Racially Insensitive Comments)
While the FBI has not released the names of the suspects, they were described as “tech-savvy” and used “sophisticated methods” to send the threats, The Hill reported.
This incident follows previous bomb threats made against several HBCUs in January.