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August 29, 2023

Thompson, Ramirez, Carter, Magaziner Request DHS & FBI Briefing on Threats to HBCUs After Jacksonville Shooting

(WASHINGTON) –Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, Rep. Delia C. Ramirez (D-IL), Vice Ranking Member of the Committee, Rep. Troy A. Carter, Sr. (D-LA), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Emergency Management & Technology, and Rep. Seth Magaziner (D-RI), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Counterterrorism, Law Enforcement & Intelligence, sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Christopher Wray requesting a briefing on the agencies’ assessment of threats to Historically Black Colleges and Universities and efforts to stop persistent and dangerous harassment after Saturday’s horrific shooting in Jacksonville, Florida where a domestic terrorist arrived on the campus of Edward Waters University – an HBCU – prior to carrying out his deadly attack. 

Letter excerpt:

As you know, HBCUs have experienced an unprecedented number of threats of violence – particularly bomb threats – over the course of last year.  According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the first in a related series of bomb threats occurred on January 4, 2022.  Following the January 4 threat, there were 28 total bomb threats targeting Black academic institutions over the span of one month. In February 2022, there were at least another six bomb threats at HBCUs, including Howard University.  In total, more than a third of all HBCUs in the Nation were targeted in 2022.

These ongoing threats to HBCUs have left thousands of students waking up to shelter-in-place warnings, bomb sniffing dogs, and campus sweeps.  It is an unacceptable burden uniquely borne by the students of HBCUs and by the institutions themselves, and the time has come to accelerate interagency efforts to confront this terrible pattern of violence and harassment against HBCUs.

Link to Letter

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