Campus Given ‘All Clear’ After Bomb Threat Prompts Evacuations

Authorities at Holworthy
Local authorities leave Holworthy Hall in Harvard Yard after sweeping the building for potential bombs early Saturday afternoon.

UPDATED: July 5, 2014, at 2:36 p.m.

Police have given the all-clear after evacuating and searching a number of campus buildings in response to a bomb threat phoned in to the Harvard University Police Department by an unidentified male around 9:30 a.m. Saturday.

HUPD Spokesperson Steven G. Catalano announced that campus buildings were safe in an email to the University community shortly before 1 p.m. Catalano wrote that “no information was found to substantiate the threat” but that buildings were nevertheless searched “out of an abundance of caution.”

Alarms sounded in multiple Harvard Yard buildings, which are currently occupied by high school students attending Harvard Summer School, preceding their evacuation.

Evacuated buildings included the Science Center, Holworthy Hall, Greenough Hall, and Lionel Hall. Harvard spokesperson Jeff Neal said that he could not immediately supply a comprehensive list of evacuated buildings.

Science Center Bomb Threat
A lone armed guard stands watch in front of evacuated Science Center Saturday morning as police investigate bomb threats.

Though access to Harvard Yard was unrestricted for the most part, the gate connecting the Yard to the Science Center Plaza was closed while police were investigating the threat.

According to Jeremy Warnick, a spokesperson for the Cambridge Police Department, police found one suspicious device during the search in a building on Prescott Street. The item in question was later determined to be a discarded birdhouse, according to the Cambridge Fire Department.

Authorities said that while campus buildings are safe, the search for the origin of the threat remains active.

Spokespeople said that local police were working with federal authorities, including the FBI, to determine who placed the threatening phone call. Additionally, Warnick said that investigators were looking into a suspicious Twitter message that apparently took responsibility for the threat.

Saturday’s threat was not the first of its kind on Harvard’s campus in recent months. In December, an unfounded bomb threat caused the evacuation of multiple campus buildings, including the Science Center, disrupting final exams for hundreds of students. Eldo Kim, a Harvard College sophomore at the time, has been charged with making that threat. Kim, who admitted to making the threats in a sworn affidavit, has not returned to class since the charges.

—Check for updates.

— Staff writers Ivan B. K. Levingston and Tyler S. Olkowski contributed to the reporting of this article.

—Staff writer Matthew Q. Clarida can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @MattClarida.