In less than one month, Howard University has received one bomb scare and two bomb threats.
On Tuesday night the Metropolitan Police Department and Howard University Department of Public Safety responded to a bomb threat called directly Cook Hall, an all male freshmen dormitory. Two nights later, another threat was received, targeting dormitories West and East Towers.
The dorms were evacuated late at night for authorities to sweep for explosives using electronic devices and dogs. Cook Hall was evacuated after 11 p.m. on Tuesday night. West and East Towers were evacuated just before three a.m on Friday morning. No explosive devices were found.
MPD has not announced any persons of interest regarding the latest threats at Howard University but authorities have shared they do have “leads” on where the calls may have come from according to NBC Washington.
The university’s president, Wayne A.I. Frederick released messages following both incidents thanking authorities and the Howard community for their quick response.
“As we debrief from our now eighth bomb threat of 2022, we must continue the effort to make our great response to the failed intimidation of these threats even better,” said President Frederick in an email early Friday morning.
Among Howard, at least 58 other HBCUs have received bomb threats in 2022, according to Inside Higher Ed. On Jan. 4, eight HBCUs such as Howard, Spelman and Xavier University of Louisiana received threats in 24 hours.
To combat the rise of threats, the Biden-Harris administration announced the Project School Emergency Response to Violence (Project SERV) in March. HBCUs who received threats were offered up to $150,000 grants per school to provide more security and other resources for faculty and students.
The U.S. The Department of Education also offered to work with the institutions to offer any other assistance for their communities.
“Our HBCUs are pillars of strength and resiliency, and we will continue working to promote policies and practices that fortify that strength and advance educational equity, excellence, and economic opportunity through these institutions,” said Dietra Trent, Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence and Economic Opportunity through Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
As of now–almost seven months after the first string of threats–no arrest has been made. However, the FBI revealed in February there were six “tech savvy” persons of interest.