HBCUs Targeted With Bomb Threats

Bomb threats have targeted historically Black colleges and universities since early January, with the latest threats reported Tuesday.
portrait of Matthew Arrojas
Matthew Arrojas
Read Full Bio


Matthew Arrojas is a news reporter at BestColleges covering higher education issues and policy. He previously worked as the hospitality and tourism news reporter at the South Florida Business Journal. He also covered higher education policy issues as...
Updated on September 29, 2023
Edited by
portrait of Brenna Swanston
Brenna Swanston
Read Full Bio


Brenna Swanston has worked as a writer, editor, and journalist. Her byline is featured on major publications including USA Today, LIVESTRONG.com, and Chron.com. Brenna's news reporting has earned national and statewide awards, most recently from the ...
Learn more about our editorial process
The Washington Post / Contributor / The Washington Post / Getty Images

  • Many of the affected schools already received bomb threats earlier this year.
  • Federal investigators are working with local authorities in these cases.
  • President Biden is aware of the recent threats.

Sixteen historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) recieved bomb threats on Tuesday, prompting many to suspend classes for the day.

Howard University in Washington, D.C., and Spelman College in Atlanta were among the HBCUs targeted by bomb threats. Tuesday also marked the start of Black History Month.

These are the HBCUs that reported bomb threats on Tuesday:

All of the above institutions except for Arkansas Baptist College have announced that after a bomb search, no threat was found. Students at these schools have been permitted to return to campus and/or emerge from lockdown.

Local police departments conducted the initial investigations, and the FBI said it is working with these agencies.

"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," the FBI said in a statement to The Hill. "As always, we would like to remind members of the public that if they observe anything suspicious to report it to law enforcement immediately."

For several of these HBCUs, Tuesday's threats were not isolated incidents. Several schools received bomb threats earlier this week as well.

CNN reported that the following schools received bomb threats on Monday:

  • Southern University and A&M College
  • Howard University
  • Bethune-Cookman University
  • Albany State University
  • Bowie State University
  • Delaware State University

Eight HBCUs reported bomb threats on Jan. 5, too, according to the Washington Post.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said during a Monday press briefing that President Joe Biden is aware of the recent bomb threats.

"I will say that these are certainly disturbing," Psaki told reporters. "And the White House is in touch with interagency partners, including federal law enforcement leadership, on this."

As some of the campuses have started reopening, presidents at the affected universities spoke out against attempts to disrupt student life and learning.

"These threats are despicable. They are designed to make us feel fearful and vulnerable," Spelman College President said in a statement. "Please be especially alert to your surroundings."