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Black colleges and universities across US reported receiving bomb threats

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has said it was leading a nationwide investigation into a series of bomb threats against multiple universities and places of worship associated with the Black American community.

“Although at this time no explosive devices have been found at any of the locations, the FBI takes all threats with the utmost seriousness,” the US agency said in a statement on Wednesday.

On Monday and Tuesday, bomb threats were sent to churches and a dozen universities serving mostly African American populations, forcing them into lockdowns while buildings were searched and cleared.

A similar set of threats were sent in early January to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) — a federally designated network of schools established in the late 19th and early 20th centuries to serve Black students, and where the majority of students today are Black.

The FBI said more than 20 field offices were working with state and local law enforcement to investigate the threats as “racially or ethnically motivated violent extremism” as well as “hate crimes,” and that the investigation was “of the highest priority” for the agency.

Politicians across the political spectrum condemned the string of threats.

“Terrorism and racism have no place on college campuses or anywhere in our nation,” said Nancy Pelosi, the lead Democrat in the US House of Representatives, in a statement.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz, a Republican, said that the threats against HBCUs “are abhorrent,” and that “law enforcement can, will, and must find the cowards responsible for creating fear in these communities.”

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