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8 Dec

‘This Is Terrorism’: Howard University Students Forced To Evacuate

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Bomb threats forced Howard University students to evacuate the college’s campus twice in 48 hours last week, just as they returned to high school to begin the autumn semester. 

The 2 bomb threats come just months after the college and other Historically Black Colleges and Universities needed to lock down or delay the beginning of classes because of comparable threats.

Two on-campus residence halls, East and West Towers, were evacuated early Friday morning as a result of the anonymous threats made to the Washington, DC, school, CNN reports

The local police department and campus police conducted a sweep of the dorms with K-9 units, in response to WUSA9. The buildings got the all-clear later that morning.

“It was difficult for me to witness in person students sitting in Banneker Park and heading to trailers on Sherman Avenue and crossing Georgia Avenue on their approach to Blackburn Center of their pajamas and sleepwear,” school president Wayne A. I. Frederick said in a letter. “That is terrorism, and it must stop.”

On Tuesday evening, one other residence hall, Cook Hall, was evacuated after a bomb threat was made by phone, police said. The constructing was later cleared.

In response to the letter issued by the university’s president, the newest incident marks the eighth time that a bomb threat has been made against the university since January. 

“I need to be clear in regards to the university’s position on the narrative of those threats,” Frederick wrote. “This isn’t about resilience and grit. We require extra resources from all law enforcement agencies directed towards solving this ongoing threat and bringing those that perpetrate its negative effects to full justice under the law.”

No less than 57 HBCUs across the country have received bomb threats via phone calls, e-mails, quick messages and anonymous online posts since January, in response to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Greater than a dozen needed to lock down or postpone classes on the primary day of Black History Month after a minimum of 18 HBCUs received bomb threats. 

Following the series of threats, the Biden administration launched an FBI investigation in early February. ​​

Because the start of the investigation six months ago, no arrests have been made. The FBI told CNN that the investigation of the threats stays ongoing and so they are working with offices “across the country to pursue leads and discover the individuals chargeable for making these criminally and racially motivated threats of violence.”

No arrests have yet been made on this latest incident at Howard University.

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