RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The FBI says the main suspect in most of the bomb threats that targeted historically Black colleges and universities this year is a juvenile.
Racially motivated threats of violence were made against dozens of HBCUs, houses of worship and other institutions across the country this year, including bomb threats against Virginia’s Hampton University and Norfolk State University.
An investigation led federal authorities to identify several minors suspected of being behind a set of threats made against these institutions between Jan. 4 to Feb. 1, the FBI said.
One juvenile was identified as the suspect allegedly responsible for the threats after the FBI looked into the case further.
Federal authorities did not reveal details about the suspect due to their age but said the Justice Department has worked with state prosecutors “to hold the minor accountable.”
“Given the federal limitations for charging under-age perpetrators with federal crimes, the Department of Justice worked with state prosecutors to hold them accountable on charges unrelated to the specific threats to the HBCUs,” the FBI said in a release Monday. “This individual is under restrictions and monitoring of his online activities.”
The FBI says it’s also investigating unrelated threats that appear to have started overseas, including a set mainly targeting HBCUs between Feb. 8 and March 2. These threats have impacted at least 19 institutions, according to the FBI.
Federal authorities are also investigating a set of threats, including bomb and/or active shooter threats, made against more than 250 colleges, including seven HBCUs, more than 100 high schools and two junior high schools. The threats began in early June and are ongoing, according to the FBI.
“Hate-fueled and racist threats of violence cause the victims real distress,” the FBI said in its release. “These threats disrupt the learning environment and the education of college students, as well as other citizens. The FBI will not tolerate anyone trying to instill fear in any community, especially one that has experienced violence and threats of violence historically.”