Harvard was forced to evacuate several buildings on Monday when a bomb threat was sent in via email, and the perpetrator was quickly identified and arrested. However, his attorney says he was under enormous pressure during finals week and was grieving the loss of his father on the anniversary of his death.
19-year old Eldo Kim emailed the threat–which said that there were two shrapnel bombs in four possible locations on campus–before finals began on Monday morning. Authorities traced the email through TOR, which he used to change the IP address on the school’s computer, and he admitted he had sent the threat to get out of taking the test. He has since been released on $100,000 bond.
“It’s finals time at Harvard,” attorney Ian Gold said. “In one way, we’re looking at the post-9/11 equivalent of pulling a fire alarm. Certainly I’m not saying the government response was unjustified, but it’s important to keep in mind we’re dealing with a 20-year-old man who was under a great deal of pressure.”
The threat was taken for a hoax by many who thought it might be a ploy to get out of finals, and unfortunately the evacuations forced the cancellation of several finals for students who were prepared.
“I have a good guess somebody called it in so they wouldn’t have to take an exam,” student Alexander Ryjik said. “It’s frustrating because now the exam will have to be postponed…Harvard is just like every other school, where students are just as stressed and caught up with their work. At Harvard especially, people are scared to fail or do poorly, even a B. It just kind of reflects just how high-stress it is here. If it is true that a student sent a bomb threat to prevent himself from taking a final, I think it’s sad that somebody would have to go to that length.”
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