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Howard, Albany State University among HBCU campuses targeted by bomb threats

Several historically Black colleges and universities faced similar bomb threats on Jan. 5.

At least six historically Black colleges, including Howard University in Washington, D.C., and Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, received bomb threats Monday, prompting lockdowns and police investigations. 

Other schools that reported bomb threats include Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida, Albany State University in Georgia, Bowie State University in Maryland and Delaware State University in Dover, according to university officials and social media posts. At least eight historically Black colleges faced similar threats on Jan. 5, all of which were unfounded, officials said. 

Howard spokesperson Frank Tramble confirmed that the university received a bomb threat Monday morning. Washington and Howard police issued an “ALL CLEAR” message after an investigation, Tramble said. 

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Howard University in Washington, D.C.Drew Angerer / Getty Images file

“Our priority is the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff and we vehemently condemn all actions that threaten the safety of our community,” Tramble said in a statement. “The Mordecai Wyatt Johnson Administration Building and surrounding area are now safe for regular business and access.” 

Representatives for Southern University and Delaware State University confirmed that the schools were under lockdown. Hours later, police in Daytona Beach issued an “all clear” message in the wake of the threat at Bethune-Cookman University.

A spokesperson for Southern University said: “Classes have been canceled and students are to remain in their dorm rooms until an all-clear is issued. University operations will be suspended until further notice and campus entry will be limited at this time.” 

Daytona Beach police asked the public not to enter the campus at Bethune-Cookman University.

Ashleigh Fields, 21, the editor-in-chief of Howard’s student newspaper, The Hilltop, said bomb threats are common in the area, adding that the latest incident is a reminder for students to stay alert. 

“As a student, it just reminds you to be aware and definitely be cautious of your surroundings,” Fields said.

After Howard’s second bomb threat this month, Fields said she hopes authorities can look at the issue more deeply. 

“It’s unfortunate,” she said. “I hope things get explained to us as students as well, too, because that is pretty scary to hear.” 

After the earlier bomb threats this month, the FBI said it would investigate. In a statement Monday, it said it is taking action after the latest threats were reported.

"The FBI is aware of the series of bomb threats around the country and we are working with our law enforcement partners to address any potential threats," it said in an emailed statement. "As always, we would like to remind members of the public that if they observe anything suspicious to report it to law enforcement immediately."

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