Feb 14, 2022 - Politics & Policy

HBCUs Howard, Fisk University face more bomb threats

Photo of the Howard University sign at the campus' main gate

An entrance sign near the main gate at Howard University in Washington, D.C. Photo: Drew Angerer via Getty Images

Howard and Fisk universities issued shelter-in-place orders Monday as law enforcement again investigated bomb threats targeting the two historically Black universities.

Why it matters: Over a dozen historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) have received bomb threats since Black History Month kicked off. Thursday's threats, which were cleared in the afternoon, mark the fourth time Howard has been targeted in the last two months, according to the Washington Post.

  • Students, staff and personnel were instructed to remain indoors while law enforcement conducted sweeps.
  • No bombs were found on the scene.

The big picture: The FBI has said it is investigating the slew of threats as "racially or ethnically motivated violent extremism and hate crimes," and has involved over 20 FBI field offices across the U.S.

  • "We don't have an idea right now of who's behind this, we do know that it's motivated by hate, which is exactly the antithesis of why these institutions are here and certainly why Howard University was founded," Howard President Wayne Frederick said in an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer earlier this month.
  • Several HBCUs have bolstered security since the threats multiplied.
  • "Such threats, unfortunately, have been a feature of HBCU life since their inception," Fisk President Vann Newkirk wrote in a memo to the campus community on Feb. 2.
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