With graduation Sunday, University of Pittsburgh dealing with more than 100 bomb threats

The Takeaway

A group calling themselves the “Threateners” have made more than 140 bomb threats at the University of Pittsburgh in the past few months.

It’s made the spring semester especially stressful for students there, especially leading up to graduation, turning life upside down. Andrew Shull, the news editor at The Pitt News student newspaper, said the FBI and campus officials are still investigating.

“They’ve identified only two people publicly as persons of interest,” Shull said. “However the group that has since claimed responsibility for the threats has denied any connected to those two people.”

The Threateners sent an anonymous email to The Pitt News, claiming that Pittsburgh Chancellor Mark Nordenberg’s decision to offer a reward for information leading to the arrest of those making threats was actually causing them to make more threats.

“The university has since dropped the reward and there haven’t been any more threats on campus,” Shull said.

Life on the university campus has gone on, especially as the threats became more numerous.

Shull said students were far less concerned when the threats targeted academic buildings at specific times, then when the threats moved to dormitories.

“There were a number of dormitories cleared out at 4 in the morning,” Shull said. “As you can imagine, that’s quite disruptive. We also had a shooting on campus while we were away on Spring Break.”

While that wasn’t targeted at students and was separate from the bomb threats, Shull said all of these things taken together have been unnerving.

“We did have students who moved off campus, students who went home early. So it was disruptive and I’d say, yes, there were a number of students who were incredibly scared,” Shull said.

Extensive security is expected to be put into place for the university’s graduation this weekend.

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