Bomb threat hoax leads police to Harvard University student

A Harvard University student was charged with making a false claim that bombs had been placed at up to four buildings on the school's campus in a bid to get out of taking a final exam, US prosecutors said on Tuesday.

The prestigious Ivy League school a day earlier evacuated four buildings from its centuries-old campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts, after receiving emails that US prosecutors said on Tuesday was sent by the 20-year-old student, Eldo Kim.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation tracked Kim down at his dorm where, after being read his Miranda rights, the student "stated that he authored the bomb threat emails … he was motivated by a desire to avoid a final exam", according to prosecutors.

Kim is due in federal court in Boston on Wednesday to face one charge of making a hoax bomb report. If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison, three years supervised release and a $250 000 fine.

The emails sent to the Harvard University Police Department, two university officials and the Harvard Crimson student newspaper said that "shrapnel bombs" had been placed in two of four named halls, which included classroom buildings and a dorm. The threat drew a heavy police response, with local, state and federal agents swarming on to the campus.

Alert
The Boston area has been on an elevated state of alert since April, when a pair of home-made pressure cooker bombs filled with shrapnel were detonated at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring 264.

Kim could not be reached for immediate comment.

Monday's incident at Harvard was the second major security scare at a prominent US university to be labelled a hoax in the past two months.

Late last month, Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, placed its campus on lockdown for almost a day after an anonymous caller warned officials that his roommate was headed to the school planning to shoot people. No gunman was found and police now regard the incident as a hoax. – Reuters

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.


The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Reuters
Guest Author
Advertising

Ayo report: CFO acted in the PIC’s interests

A disciplinary inquiry has cleared Matshepo More of all charges, but she remains suspended

A lifeline for the homeless people in eThekwini

eThekwini plans to retain permanent and safe open spaces for people with nowhere to sleep

Judge trashes entire lockdown regime as constitutionally flawed

The high court ruling will delight gatvol South Africans but is unlikely to stand the test of time

The backlogs, denials and future of testing Covid-19

The National Health Laboratory Services finally admitted to a bottleneck last week, after denying there were any issues since April. According to the service, the backlog of 80 000 tests started in the first week of May
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday