Bomb threat at Harvard comes up empty
By The Associated Press
Published: Monday, Dec. 16, 2013, 9:09 p.m.
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Four buildings on Harvard University's campus were evacuated on Monday when police received an email claiming that explosive devices were possibly hidden inside, but despite hours of searches and disruptions to final exams, no suspicious devices were found.
The buildings were evacuated, and access to Harvard Yard was restricted when the email was received at about 8:40 a.m. Monday, shortly before students were set to begin final exams.
Investigators from several agencies searched the buildings for hours and cleared students to return to all four by mid-afternoon. One of the buildings was a freshman dormitory; classes are held in the other three.
In a statement to the Harvard community, Harvard Executive Vice President Katie Lapp said the buildings were evacuated “out of an abundance of caution” and that activities at the Ivy League school in Cambridge were returning to normal.
“I am relieved to report that no suspicious devices were found,” Lapp said.
She said Harvard police and local, state and federal authorities are investigating to find out who is responsible.
Harvard officials would not comment on speculation among students that the email was a hoax timed to coincide with finals at the school.
“I have a good guess somebody called it in so they wouldn't have to take an exam,” said Alexander Ryjik, a junior from Alexander, Va., who was just about to take his Politics of American Education final when the evacuations were announced.
“It's frustrating because now the exam will have to be postponed,” he said.
Harvard did not immediately say when students would be allowed to take the finals that were canceled because of the evacuations.
The mood on campus was calm as students streamed out of Harvard Yard on a frigid morning with temperatures in the 20s. The gates around the yard were closed, and people were allowed to leave but not enter unless they had school IDs.
Last month, another Ivy League school, Yale University in Connecticut, was locked down for nearly six hours while authorities investigated a phone call saying an armed man was heading to shoot it up, a warning they later said was likely a hoax.
In February, someone called in a hoax about a gunman on the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an elite school about two miles from Harvard. The university said the caller claimed the gunman was a staff member looking for revenge after the suicide of an Internet activist accused of illegally using MIT computers.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- After bombs, Boston Marathon under tight security
- Shale oil, gas drilling boom wins favor with labor unions, thwarting environmentalists
- Teen OK after riding in wheel well of Hawaii jet
- Navy endorses 24-hour sleep cycle for sailors
- Postal Service overhaul expected to appeal to Dems
- Study of corn waste as fuel source finds gasoline less damaging to atmosphere
- Ruling on Cleveland police chase questioned
- Warnings on youths, codeine unheeded; lack of effectiveness, dangers had been raised
- Seafood study: Up to 32 percent imported to U.S. is caught illegally
- Space station receives Easter cargo delivery
- Wyoming officials to drill at landslide’s crest