Feb 2, 2022 - News

Arkansas HBCUs receive bomb threats on first day of Black History Month

Screenshot of a tweet from Rep. Alma Adams

Screenshot of @RepAdams tweet.

Three of Arkansas' four historically Black colleges and universities received bomb threats on the first day of Black History Month, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports.

  • No bombs were found, and no injuries were reported.

The big picture: The threats appear to be part of a coordinated effort targeting more than a dozen HBCUs across the U.S.

  • The FBI said it was working with local law enforcement to investigate the threats.

Details: Police logs show a self-described neo-Nazi called to say plastic explosive charges were at Philander Smith College in Little Rock and another college nearby, and that a bomb was in a white van at Shorter College in North Little Rock, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported. Police took the "nearby" location to be Arkansas Baptist College in Little Rock.

  • Classes resumed at Philander Smith College after noon.
  • Jerome Green, president of Shorter College, told Axios classes were already in remote learning due a recent uptick in COVID-19 cases on campus. Authorities swept the campus and found nothing, he said.
  • Arkansas Baptist College did not respond to Axios' request for information.

What they're saying: Rep. French Hill and Rep. Alma Adams (D-North Carolina), co-chairs of the HBCU Caucus, issued a statement Monday evening before threats were made in Arkansas:

  • "We are deeply disturbed by a second round of bomb threats at HBCU campuses within a month. Learning is one of the most noble and most human pursuits, and schools are sacred places that should always be free from terror. Solving these crimes and bringing those responsible to justice should be a top priority for federal law enforcement."

Adams issued another statement with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Tuesday evening calling the threats hate crimes.

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