Authorities investigate source of bomb threats targeting HBCUs

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- After three more Historically Black Colleges and Universities, including two in North Carolina, were targeted by bomb threats Wednesday, federal and state agencies are continuing to investigate who is responsible.

"They are geared towards disruption, chaos, causing panic and obviously you've got a coordinated campaign that's being perpetrated by individuals to target these institutions," said Fred Burton, the Executive Director of the Ontic Center for Protective Intelligence.

Earlier this month, at least a dozen HBCUs received similar threats, following two other widespread incidents in January, one of which targeted North Carolina Central University.

"It's one of these kinds of remote threats that you can cause happen that just creates turmoil and chaos for the recipient," said Burton.

Burton, a former special agent, said he believes the threats are coordinated.

"Our entire domestic terrorism system since 9/11 has been put together to investigate, track down, mitigate, and resolve these kinds of threats," said Burton.

No bombs have been discovered following any of the recent threats, though they have forced the evacuation of campuses and buildings.

"It's easy for that kind of routine to set in. That, well, this is just another fake bomb threat or the caller is not credible. Having said that, it's my experience that public safety treats each and every one of them as a serious offense," Burton said, as he urged people to remain vigilant and contact law enforcement if they see anything that may appear out of places, such as an unattended bag or package.

Thursday, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security held a hearing about the Rise in Violence Against Minority Institutions, which in part covered these recent issues.

"This is not 1865. It is not 1923. It is not 1962. This is 2022. But these domestic acts of terror persist," said Dr. David K. Wilson, the President of Morgan State University in Baltimore.

Morgan State was one of the universities threatened earlier this month.

"Our students, if you will, deserve to feel safe and be safe," said Wilson.
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