By Aaron Humes: The start of Black History Month in the United States has been marred by allegations of a nationwide campaign of bomb threats against black colleges, law enforcement officials reported according to the BBC.
More than a dozen universities and places of worship were targeted by hoax calls heavily disguised by technology, although no explosives were found.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Joint Terrorism Task Forces is said to be investigating the incidents as racially motivated hate crimes.
According to U.S. media, six children have been identified as persons of interest in the case.
One unnamed official told NBC News that the group appeared to be “tech savvy”.
Investigators were searching their homes and conducting interviews, the Wall Street Journal reported, adding that it was not known if any arrests had been made.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki called the threats “disturbing” on Tuesday, adding that White House officials “take these threats seriously”.
“It is scary, it is horrifying, it is terrible that these students, these faculty, these institutions are feeling under threat,” she said.
“A lot of us feel like this is political,” a 19-year-old student of Spelman College in Atlanta told the New York Times.
The FBI has previously warned of a rise in white supremacist-fuelled domestic extremism.