FBI investigating bomb threats as hate crimes

FBI Director Christopher Wray speaks at a news conference at the Justice Department in Washington, on Nov. 8, 2021. The bureau said Wednesday it is investigating recent bomb threats to historically Black colleges and universities as hate crimes. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

The FBI said Wednesday afternoon that its joint terrorism task forces are leading the investigation of recent bomb threats to about two dozen historically Black colleges and universities — including three in Georgia — which it described as hate crimes, according to AJC.

“This investigation is of the highest priority for the Bureau and involves more than 20 FBI field offices across the country,” the FBI said in a statement on its website.

“These threats are being investigated as racially or ethnically motivated violent extremism and hate crimes,” the statement said. “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 first round of bomb threats to the schools occurred early last month. Spelman received one of the threats. There are about 100 accredited HBCUs nationwide, including nine in Georgia.

Federal authorities have been under increasing pressure from elected officials, HBCU alumni, students and advocates to discuss any work they’re doing to investigate the threats. Several news outlets reported Wednesday that the FBI is looking at five or six juveniles as persons of interest, citing unnamed sources.

The FBI added its investigation includes houses of worship. The FBI said in its statement that it is unable to provide more details at this time.

Albany State University received a bomb threat Monday. Fort Valley State University and Spelman College received threats Tuesday. No devices were found, authorities said.


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