Harvard University Student Arrested For Bomb Hoax On Campus
A Harvard University student allegedly risked spending up to five years in jail for a chance to miss his final exams.
According to FBI officials, Eldo Kim, 20, was arrested in connection with a bomb scare on campus, which forced the evacuation of four buildings near Harvard Yard, and led to a police perimeter set up around parts of the school.
Reports indicate that Kim, an undergraduate in the Department of Psychology, allegedly admitted to being behind the hoax in an attempt to get out of his final exam. Tests scheduled on Monday morning were canceled when an email was sent to Harvard officials claiming there were explosives in four separate locations on campus.
According to an affidavit filed by the FBI, the Harvard University Police Department, two Harvard officials, and the president of the Harvard Crimson, the university’s daily student newspaper, received identical email messages with a subject line that read, “bombs placed around campus.”
The email allegedly listed the Science Center, Sever Hall, Emerson Hall, and Thayer Hall, and continued, “be quick for they will go off soon.”
The emails were sent through a service that allows users to create anonymous email addresses free of charge, officials claim.
The threats led to a tweet from the university, urging students to immediately clear out the buildings mentioned in the email, and garnered a response from “dozens of law enforcement officers” including the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the United States Secret Service, the Harvard University Police Department, the Cambridge Police Department, the Boston Police Department, and the Massachusetts State Police.
According to FBI officials that were part of the investigation, after the buildings were cleared and police determined there was no threat, they interviewed the suspect in his dorm room on campus after verifying that the email was sent from his computer using Harvard’s wireless network.
During the interview, Kim allegedly told investigators that he acted alone, and he was “motivated by a desire to avoid a final exam scheduled” that day.
“Kim stated that he was in Emerson Hall at 9 a.m. when the fire alarm sounded and the building was evacuated. According to Kim, upon hearing the alarm, he knew that his plan had worked,” the report said.
Kim is scheduled to appear in Federal Court to face charges for the bomb hoax on Wednesday, December 18. The maximum penalty under bomb hoax statute is five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
In his Harvard profile on the school’s website, Kim is described as “a freshman intending to concentrate in Psychology and pursue a secondary in Japanese.”
The profile claims Kim “enjoys playing pool, trying new restaurants, watching terrible cult films, and playing with his Mini Schnauzer puppy,” in his free time.
To read the full affidavit, see below: