Harvard bomb scare was a hoax, investigators say

One student has been charged with phoning in a fake threat

A Harvard student has been charged with inventing a bomb hoax, allegedly in order to get out of an exam.

The university was forced to evacuate four campuses on Monday due to the threat, leaving exams were cancelled while investigators spent hours fruitlessly trying to find the explosives.

Eldo Kim, 20, an undergraduate psychology scholar and research assistant has been accused of sending emails with the subject line “Bombs placed around campus”, according to American federal prosecutors. The emails claimed that bombs had been placed in two out of four buildings, one of which Kim had been due to take an exam in at 9am that morning.  

Boston CBS reports that the emails read “shrapnel bombs placed in science center, sever hall, emerson hall, thayer hall, 2/4. guess correctly. be quick for they will go off soon.”

He allegedly sent it to the university using Tor, a service which is designed to anonymise your identity on the internet. Investigators said that once he had heard the alarms going off “he knew his plan had worked”.

An FBI affidavit shows that Kim admits to having sent emails to five or six Harvard email addresses he chose at random. They were sent to the university police, the president of the Harvard newspaper and university officials.

He is set to appear in court today, charged with emailing a bomb threat. He faces a maximum of five years’ imprisonment and a $250,000  (£150,000) fine if found guilty.

Students and police outside Harvard University's Science Center building, after unconfirmed reports of a bomb threat inside (The Harvard Crimson)