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Teen gamer in Virginia said to be involved in college bomb threats in multiple states

A series of incidents have led to building evacuations and campus alerts sent to students, faculty and staff at a handful of universities.
Image: Columbia University bomb threat
Police gather at the campus of Columbia University in response to a bomb threat on Nov. 7, 2021.Caitlin Ochs / Reuters

A teenage gamer in Virginia is said to be involved in the recent spate of bomb threats at colleges and universities in the tri-state area, law enforcement sources familiar with the investigation told NBC News.

It was not immediately clear which specific threats the 14-year-old was involved in, but there have been scares in recent weeks at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut; Cornell University in Ithaca, New York; Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island; and Columbia University and NYU in New York City.

Each incident has led to building evacuations and campus alerts sent to students, faculty and staff, and each was later deemed safe.

Separately, authorities said several “online persons operating on the Discord chat platform” were allegedly involved in swatting incidents in Los Angeles in August and September, and the individuals in that group have been linked to 30 other bomb threats and swatting incidents, according to officials.

The suspects range in age from 13 to 16 years old, with one of the teens allegedly involved living in New York City, authorities said. Other suspects are from Harford County, Maryland, and Medina County, Ohio, as well as a teen in Cyprus.

A spokeswoman with FBI New York confirmed the office assisted with Los Angeles authorities in the investigation.