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Edward Waters threat included in nationwide FBI probe

Jose Luis Magana
AP file

The FBI has launched a nationwide investigation into threats this week against historically black colleges and universities, including Edwards Waters University in Jacksonville.

Twenty FBI field offices are involved, the agency said in a statement Wednesday afternoon. NBC News reported that the FBI has identified six "tech savvy" juveniles as persons of interest.

More than a dozen colleges and universities received bomb threats Tuesday, the first day of Black History Month. The FBI labeled the threats as racially motivated hate crimes, but no explosive devices were found on any campuses.

The FBI statement said churches also were targeted, but no details were provided.

Edward Waters canceled all in-person activities, classes and other university operations, including meetings and athletic practices.

University President Zachary Faison Jr. said the threat involved "multiple explosive devices that had been placed throughout our campus, and beyond that, the plan was to then come onto the campus and then shoot any survivors," according to a report by WJCT News partner News4Jax.

Randy comes to Jacksonville from the South Florida Sun Sentinel, where, as metro editor, he led investigative coverage of the Parkland school shooting that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for public service. He has spent more than 40 years in reporting and editing positions in Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Ohio and Florida. You can reach Randy at or on Twitter, @rroguski.