Morgan State University President David Wilson called Tuesday (Feb. 1) for the FBI to “aggressively” investigate bomb threats targeting multiple historically Black colleges and universities, after a second consecutive day of bomb scares at the campuses.
“I’m hopeful that these bomb threats to our National Treasure, and to many of our other sister HBCU institutions, will be aggressively investigated by the FBI,” Wilson said in a message, released as law enforcement officers searched for explosive devices, building-by-building, on the university’s Baltimore campus.
Federal investigators said they are looking into the ongoing threats.
"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. As always, we would like to remind members of the public that if they observe anything suspicious to report it to law enforcement immediately," the agency told USA Today.
On Tuesday (Feb. 1), HBCUs received bomb threats for a second straight day–the third within a month. The institutions included Howard University, Morgan State, Jackson State, Mississippi Valley State, Coppin State, Alcorn State, Kentucky State, Tougaloo, Fort Valley State, Xavier (New Orleans), Spelman, Bowie State, UDC, and Edward Waters.
Meanwhile, reporters asked White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Tuesday for an update on the situation, including whether the series of bomb threats were linked to Black History Month.
“Well, we don’t have an assessment at this point,” Psaki responded. “We are continuing to evaluate.”
Psaki reiterated that the White House condemns “these disturbing threats, and our thoughts are with the students, faculty, and staff of these storied institutions.”
President Joe Biden is aware of the ongoing bomb threats but didn’t have any immediate plans to visit the HBCUs, the White House spokeswoman stated.
Psaki added, “Obviously, right now, our focus is on ensuring we are working in close coordination with our law enforcement authorities and ensuring that the leaders of these institutions and the students know that we are watching closely and that we are standing with them as they face these threats.”
Rep. Bennie Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat who chairs the House Committee on Homeland Security, noted in a statement that the threats target African American educational institutions during Black History Month.
“These bomb threats against HBCUs deserve a full investigation, particularly given the dynamic terrorism threat landscape,” he said. “I have engaged with the FBI and DHS about these threats to HBCUs and am committed to working with HBCU leaders to get them the answers they deserve.”