Penn is watching closely after four Ivy League universities received bomb threats

Penn Public Safety Division March 1, 2020. Credit: Sharon Lee

After multiple bomb threats over the weekend at Ivy League college campuses, Penn’s Public Safety Division clarified that no bomb threats had been issued against the university.

“[DPS] is aware of and concerned about threats to other Ivy League universities yesterday and Friday. Fortunately, at this time, no threats have been made against Penn, “DPS wrote in an email to the Daily Pennsylvanian on November 8.

The DPS consulted with the Philadelphia Police Order Disposal Unit; the Delaware Valley Intelligence Center, which monitors social media posts; and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s weapons of mass destruction squad, according to the email.

“We will continue to gather information and monitor any threats to our own community,” wrote the DPS.

Cornell University, Columbia University and Brown University received bomb threats on Sunday, prompting evacuations in some buildings on campus. There were no reports of explosions or damage Sunday afternoon, The Wall Street Journal reported. Local authorities also investigated a bomb threat at Yale University on Friday afternoon.

Columbia had issued a campus-wide emergency alert on Sunday around 2:30 p.m., the University tweeted, causing the immediate evacuation of some buildings. The New York Police Department investigated the threats and found them not to be credible, and campus buildings were allowed to be reoccupied a few hours later.

Sunday around 3:20 p.m. Cornell tweeted that police received a call indicating that bombs were being planted at Cornell Law School, as well as three other campus facilities, and ordered their community to “avoid the central campus.” University noted Sunday evening that no credible threat was found and it was possible to resume all normal activities safely.

Brown’s Public Safety Department also evacuated several buildings near his College Green on Sunday. The students received a university alert on Sunday evening around 5:45 p.m. indicating that all evacuated buildings had reopened, the Brown Daily Herald reported. Officers ultimately found no evidence of a credible threat.

It is not known if these events across the Ivy League are related. The FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives could investigate the connection between the incidents at each of the Ivy League universities, Brown campus police told the Boston Globe.

The series of incidents last weekend followed recent threats at other US universities.

The New Haven Police Dispatch informed Yale University on Friday of a person who had called, claiming to have placed 40 bombs in several locations on campus. That evening, the Yale Police Department announced that the bomb threat was invalid and the campus resumed normal operations, the Yale Daily News reported.

The University of Miami and Ohio University received similar bomb threats on campus on Saturday, which were later rescinded, according to The Miami Student and 10 WBNS.

– Journalist Kevin Bryan contributed to the reporting of this story.

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