The University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) contacted the FBI to investigate antisemitic threats made to a “small number” of university staff members, school President Elizabeth Magill announced on Monday.
Several Jewish staff members received emails threatening violence and attacking their “personal identities,” sparking safety sweeps at a Jewish religious center and a residential hall at Penn, according to the announcement.
Campus police found “no credible threat” during the sweeps but increased their presence around the threatened areas and contacted the FBI about a “potential hate crime.”
“At a time when campuses across the country are being targeted with these types of threats, my first and highest priority is the safety and security of our community. Threats of violence are not tolerated at Penn and will be met with swift and forceful action,” Magill wrote in the announcement. “Penn Public Safety is working urgently with the FBI to identify the individual or individuals who are responsible for these hateful, threatening emails and to ensure they are apprehended and punished to the fullest extent of the law.”
The FBI confirmed that it is examining the threats made at Penn and said that it is taking “appropriate investigative action” to “assess the situation,” the agency told the Daily Caller News Foundation in a statement. The FBI declined to comment on whether it has identified a person of interest related to the threats.
“Nothing is more important than the safety of our communities and we will not tolerate violence motivated by hate and extremism,” said an FBI spokesperson.
Penn initially defended pro-Hamas protests as an exercise of free speech despite its history of canceling conservative speakers, but launched an antisemitism task force after donors began to pull funding from the university.
As part of its efforts to reconstruct its image, the university announced that it would “review” how “external” groups can arrange events on campus, according to a statement from UPenn.
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