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Harvard Bomb Threat Prompts Building Evacuations




Dec 16, 11:56 AM EST

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) -- Four buildings on Harvard University's campus near Boston were evacuated Monday after campus police received an unconfirmed report that explosives may have been placed inside, interrupting final exams.

Three of the evacuated buildings - one a dorm, and two classroom buildings - border Harvard Yard, and the other is the science center at the Ivy League school in Cambridge. Many of the students who had to leave went to another campus building, according to the school's paper, The Harvard Crimson.

Both school and city police were investigating, along with officers from other agencies.

"Out of an abundance of caution, the buildings have been evacuated while the report is investigated," the school said in a statement. "Harvard's focus is on the safety of our students, faculty and staff."

The mood on campus was calm as students streamed out of Harvard Yard on a frigid morning with temperatures in the 20s. The gates around the yard were closed and people were allowed to leave but not enter unless they had school IDs.

Juniors Alexander Ryjik of Alexandria, Va., and Diego Abrahao of Sunny Isles Beach, Fla., said their professor was handing out exam booklets for their Politics of American Education class shortly after 9 a.m. when the alert went out that they had to leave Emerson Hall.

"I have a good guess somebody called it in so they wouldn't have to take an exam," Ryjik said. "It's frustrating because now the exam will have to be postponed."

Sophomore Santiago Pardo said by phone that he and his roommate were keeping close tabs on the situation from their dorm, Adams House, which is not near Harvard Yard.

"We feel safe," he said. "We're not scared."

The school tweeted that it would let students know as soon as possible whether afternoon exams would be given as scheduled.

Last month, another Ivy League school, Yale University in Connecticut, was locked down for nearly six hours while authorities investigated a phone call saying an armed man was heading to shoot it up, a warning they later said was likely a hoax.

And in February, someone called in a hoax about a gunman on the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, another elite school about two miles from Harvard. The university said the gunman was a staff member looking for revenge after the suicide of an Internet activist accused of illegally using MIT computers.

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k6cxv December 16 2013 at 3:29 PM

I have always been amazed that someone would call or e-mail a threat. You can always be sure that 99.44% of the time it is a hoax. The paranoia of the "authorities" is remarkable.

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Rod December 16 2013 at 3:20 PM

What's Obama have to say about passing new laws against bomb ownership? The school incident in Colorado with the perp possessing Molitove cocktails and now this, let's outlaw bombs. Even the mentally ill can purchase a bottle a rag and some gasoline. The constitution is silent on bombs. Common Obama let's rally the wacko's with some more useless endeavors.

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kevinhh108 December 16 2013 at 3:14 PM

Just blow up the Harvard Blue Blood law school. That would be a good start. Joking of course, don't get your royal panties in a bunch.

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Kate December 16 2013 at 3:04 PM

It really bites for these students that it is entirely possible someone called in a hoax, to avoid having to take an exam they were not prepared for.

It's a far cry from funny, and it definitely isn't cool. Grow up!

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vickyd0912 December 16 2013 at 2:56 PM

It's so funny that this happens during finals. I knew as soon as the news came on with this, what it really was, fake to get out of finals. Whoever did this was such a scumbag, after the bombings here this year, how can you make a play on our heightened security and scare people like that because you don't want to take a test!!!

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geeman108 December 16 2013 at 2:56 PM

The words " Abundance of caution" seems to be used virtually every day. What it really means is We don't think any more. Has there been any incidents involving any school connected to a bomb threat where there was a bomb found after a warning. Shootings are another story.

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Kate December 16 2013 at 3:06 PM

Are you suggesting that the school should ignore a threat and just allow all it's students and staff to take the risk that it's a genuine threat? Nobody in their right mind would do that.

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Gregg December 16 2013 at 2:55 PM

Liberals running wild again like they did in the 60's and 70's. Where is William Ayers?

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Mary December 16 2013 at 3:06 PM

He's hanging out with Obama.

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Kate December 16 2013 at 3:13 PM

What is it about a bomb threat makes you instantly decide there are liberals involved? You've got an incredibly selective memory if you instantly ignore recent history-- the Boston Marathon-- and jump back over 50 years to conclude that this threat had to be the work of liberals.

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Gregg December 16 2013 at 2:53 PM

Liberal will resort to anything to get out of taking exams.

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Kate December 16 2013 at 3:14 PM

Right. GW Bush and Scott Walker both being so notoriously liberal.

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Kathleen December 16 2013 at 2:44 PM

Why its so frequently,that on Mondays many of these disasters happen?

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2 replies to Kathleen's comment
melanieke77 December 16 2013 at 2:53 PM

Remember that song - Boonton Rats - "I Don't Like Mondays." - it actually was about one of these school shootings back in the 70's.

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Kate December 16 2013 at 3:15 PM

Because colleges do not hold regular classes on weekends.

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snafaxi December 16 2013 at 2:28 PM

Only a 6th grader would have used the phrase "an abundance of caution. . ." in a story like this. If there is a content editor for the AOL main page, he/she needs to start using red or blue pencil. One of the myriad of small reasons I don't want to face AOL main page first thing in the morning.

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1 reply to snafaxi's comment
Kate December 16 2013 at 3:23 PM

Actually, there is nothing technically or gramatically incorrect about the phrase 'an abundance of caution.' Abundance simply means ' a lot, ' as I am sure you know.

Also, it was a direct quote, and no reporter is allowed to change the wording of someone elses statement.

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