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Congressional Democrats have revisited a bill to combat domestic terrorism in the wake of multiple bomb threats at HBCUs across the country.
The FBI said 57 Historically Black Colleges and Universities, places of worship, and other faith-based and academic institutions received bomb threats between Jan. 4 and Feb. 16, according to a Washington Post report. The bureau is investigating the incidents as hate crimes.
Classes were canceled at multiple HBCUs during Black History Month as law enforcement investigated the legitimacy of the bomb threats. The threats got so bad that the White House issued a statement saying;
“Every student, staff and faculty member deserves a safe place to learn, live and work. @WHI_HBCUs Campus and Resiliency cluster will continue to ensure the proper resources are available to HBCUs to help keep campuses safe.”
Every student, staff and faculty member deserves a safe place to learn, live and work. @WHI_HBCUs Campus and Resiliency cluster will continue to ensure the proper resources are available to HBCUs to help keep campuses safe. https://t.co/jTOi9Emrra
— White House HBCUs (@WHI_HBCUs) January 7, 2022
The legislation was first introduced in January 2021, after the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol building by Rep. Bradley Scott Schneider and co-sponsored by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee.
It authorizes domestic terrorism components within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to monitor, analyze, investigate, and prosecute domestic terrorism.
It creates an interagency task force to analyze and combat white supremacist and neo-Nazi infiltration of the uniformed services and federal law enforcement agencies.
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, who is chair of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security, led a hearing last week Thursday on the matter that spotlighted the rising bomb threats against HBCUs.
The bomb threats made against HBCUs, she argued, has put fear “in the hearts of young students, faculty and staff, parents and the communities” and “reopen wounds of those who recall the threats, bombings, burnings and lynchings of the not too distant past.”
The bill is still sitting with the subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security, and has yet to be voted on by the House or Senate. With the renewed focus after multiple bomb threats the bill may be getting a vote sooner than later.