Columbia, Cornell, Brown universities given all-clear after bomb threats

The NYPD determined the bomb threats were actually "swatting" pranks.

Cornell University sign (photo credit: MARC SMITH/CORNELL UNIVERSITY CC BY-SA 2.0 WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)
Cornell University sign

A number of buildings at Columbia University, Cornell University and Brown University were evacuated on Sunday after bomb threats were reported on their campuses, with the universities advising people stay away from the buildings until further notice. 

Columbia University has since been given the all-clear after NYPD completed their investigation and deemed the threats not credible. Students can return to the evacuated buildings.

The NYPD determined that not only were the threats not credible, but they were pranks, specifically "Swatting," which is when fake threats are made to mobilize the police.

Brown University was also given the all-clear after Brown campus police and Providence Police cleared all the buildings in question.

Hours later, Cornell was also given the all-clear after it was determined that no credible threat was found after a search of the Ithaca campus.

According to the Columbia Daily Spectator, Carman Hall and Lerner Hall at Columbia University were evacuated after tweets were published by a user with the name Jia Nakamura which claimed that, with their partner, they had placed 40 improvised explosives in Butler Hall, Carman Hall, Lerner Hall and the bookstore, as well as explosives on the college walk.

The user also claimed that they were carrying AR-15 assault rifles and Glock 10 pistols and would fire at any law enforcement officers who arrived at the scene.

Columbia University announced that the New York Police Department (NYPD) is investigating and asked people to avoid the area.

Cornell University issued an alert on its Twitter account warning people to avoid the central campus and evacuate areas in or near the Law School, Goldwin Smith, Upson Hall and Kennedy Hall, after police received a call about bombs being placed in these buildings.

The university stated that additional information would be provided as it became available and that Ithaca Campus Law enforcement is at the scene investigating.

NY Governor Kathy Hochul tweeted on Sunday that her and her team were "monitoring the situation at Cornell and Columbia Universities and are ready to offer any support that may be needed. I urge everyone to follow guidance from university and local law enforcement."

Shortly after the bomb threats were reported at Cornell and Columbia, Brown University evacuated all buildings on the Main Green due to a bomb threat on its campus, according to the Brown Daily Herald.

Yale University reportedly received a bomb threat on Friday, but was given the all clear after about five hours, according to the Yale Daily News. In the Yale incident, the caller also claimed that 40 bombs were placed around the campus, similar to the threat issued at Columbia on Sunday.

It was not initially clear if the threats at the various campuses are connected. Threats were also called in at a number of other campuses around the country in recent days, including Ohio University and Miami University.