On Wednesday, Feb. 23, the FBI released a statement detailing its findings in the ongoing investigation into bomb threats at historically Black colleges and univerisites (HBCUs), houses of worship and other faith-based and academic institutions. The statement specifies that 57 HBCUs and other predominantly Black institutions were targeted during the period of Jan. 4 to Feb. 16. In the statement, the FBI also disclosed that 31 of its field offices are now involved in the ongoing investigation.
Listen to this episode of the Lawfare Podcast from Feb. 7 for more information about the bomb threats.
You can read the statement here or below:
FBI Statement on the Ongoing Investigation into Bomb Threats to Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Houses of Worship
The FBI is continuing to aggressively investigate the ongoing nationwide bomb threats targeting Historically Black Colleges and Universities, houses of worship, and other faith-based and academic institutions.
From January 4 to February 16, a total of 57 institutions across the country were targeted. The bomb threats have been made in phone calls, e-mails, instant messages, and anonymous online posts. FBI agents from multiple field offices are conducting hundreds of interviews and gathering a variety of electronic evidence for analysis.
This investigation is of the highest priority for the Bureau and involves 31 FBI field offices that are actively working with our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners to identify those involved. The FBI is investigating these cases as racially or ethnically motivated violent extremism and hate crimes.
Although at this time no explosive devices related to these threats have been found, the FBI takes all of these threats with the utmost seriousness and will remain vigilant to protect our communities.
The FBI has been prioritizing information sharing and officials in Washington, DC have briefed approximately 2,800 law enforcement partners, and community, academic, and faith leaders. Senior leaders in a number of our field offices also have engaged with university leaders in their respective communities to maintain direct lines of communication.
We recognize the fear and disruption this has caused across the country, and we will continue our work to make sure people feel safe in their communities, schools, and places of worship. We would like to remind members of the public that if they observe anything suspicious or have information about potential threats to report it to law enforcement immediately, call their local FBI office, or submit a tip to tips.fbi.gov.
Due to the ongoing investigation we are unable to provide more details at this time, but we will continue to share with schools, partners, and the public as information becomes available.