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FBI: Many of this year's threats against HBCUs were made by a minor

Investigators wouldn't share any information about that minor because of laws protecting children -- so we don't know how old the suspect is, or where he's from.
Credit: 13News Now

HAMPTON, Va. — Monday, the FBI determined that a string of threats against Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) earlier this year were made by a minor.

The threats affected universities and houses of worship around the country this year, but especially in January and February. The FBI said more than 50 institutions faced "racially motivated threats of violence."

In Hampton Roads and northeastern North Carolina, Hampton University, Norfolk State University and Elizabeth City State University all had classes disrupted by bomb threats. HU and NSU had lockdowns, and ECSU evacuated its campus.

The string of threats even pushed Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin to ask the General Assembly to give HBCUs emergency funding for security.

RELATED: Bomb-threatened Black schools eligible for security grants

"The investigation of these threats led to the identification of several minors believed to be responsible for the first set of threats made between January 4 and February 1, 2022. Further FBI investigation identified one juvenile believed to be responsible for these threats," a spokesperson wrote.

Investigators would not share any information about that minor because of privacy laws protecting children -- so we don't know exactly how old the suspect is, or what state he lives in. The Department of Justice will hold the boy accountable, the FBI said.

However, because of how the law works, the minor will be facing charges unrelated to specific threats against HBCUs.

Part of his punishment is that his online activities will be monitored from now on.

"The FBI will not tolerate anyone trying to instill fear in any community, especially one that has experienced violence and threats of violence historically," they wrote.

The minor wasn't responsible for every threat that came through this year, though. Here are some threats the FBI is still investigating, which a spokesperson said likely came from a suspect (or suspects) overseas:

  • A distinct set of threats primarily targeting HBCUs received between February 8 and March 2, affecting at least 19 institutions.
  • A distinct set of threats which began June 7 and are ongoing. More than 250 colleges—including seven HBCUs—over 100 high schools, and two junior high schools received bomb and/or active shooter threats.

If you know anything about those, please call 1-800-CALL-FBI to share a tip.

RELATED: House unanimously passes resolution condemning HBCU bomb threats

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