Multiple HBCUs Receive Bomb Threats in Most Recent Wave of Alerts

A wave of bomb threats on Monday impacted numerous Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), spurring numerous police investigations.

As of Monday afternoon, six HBCUs had fallen victim to bomb threats, according to CNN: Albany State University in Albany, Georgia; Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida; Bowie State University in Prince George's County, Maryland; Delaware State University in Dover, Delaware; Howard University in Washington, D.C.; and, Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

These threats were confirmed by each school through various official statements and social media posts. Of the affected institution, only Howard University has been deemed safe. Washington Metropolitan Police Department spokesperson told CNN that the campus "has been cleared with no hazardous materials found."

The other five schools remain under varying states of lockdown with police investigations underway.

hbcu bomb threats
Several HBCUs were subjected to bomb threats on Monday, leading to lockdowns and police investigations. Above, a sign for noted HBCU, Howard University in Washington, D.C. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

A little after 9 a.m. ET, Albany State tweeted about the bomb threat, and urged students and staff to stay off campus until the issue is resolved. Bethune-Cookman posted an official statement to Twitter at 11:30 a.m., stating that no one would be allowed to enter or leave its campus until the threat is resolved.

"We are unable to provide any details at this time so that law enforcement is able to complete their tasks without any distraction," Bethune-Cookman's statement read. "Students are in compliance with the lockdown order and are staying in place as they should."

Bowie State also issued a statement via Twitter a little after 9:30 a.m., announcing that the campus would temporarily be closed and that anyone currently on it would need to shelter in place. Classes were made virtual for the day as the investigation unfolded.

This is the second time in January that multiple HBCUs have been subject to bomb threats, resulting in campus lockdowns. On January 5, three schools, including Howard University, received similar threats.

It is unclear at this time whether or not and to what degree these new threats might be connected, or how they might connect to the earlier wave of incidents.

"The FBI is aware of the series of bomb threats around the country and we are working with our law enforcement partners to address any potential threats," the FBI said about the situation in a statement to Newsweek. "As always, we would like to remind members of the public that if they observe anything suspicious to report it to law enforcement immediately."

During a Monday press conference, White House Press Secretary Jan Psaki said that the rash of threats against HBCUs are "are certainly disturbing."

This past September, Howard University was the victim of a ransomware attack just prior to Labor Day weekend. The school confirmed that it was working with the FBI to investigate the incident and said that functionality would gradually be restored to its digital operations. The campus was closed for the Tuesday after Labor Day and its Wi-Fi network was scheduled to stay down until the school knew "the best and safest path to stand it up."

Updated 01/31/2022, 2:42 p.m. ET: This story has been updated with comments from the FBI and White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.