WBUR

Student Charged For Bomb Threats At Harvard

Police officers patrol Harvard University Monday after bomb threats were made. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Police officers patrol Harvard University Monday after bomb threats were made. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

BOSTON — A Harvard University student who was allegedly trying to get out of a final exam has been charged with making bomb threats that led to the evacuation of four campus buildings and the cancellation of some final exams Monday.

Eldo Kim, 20, of Cambridge, allegedly “emailed several bomb threats to offices associated with Harvard University, including the Harvard University Police Department and the Harvard Crimson,” the U.S. attorney’s office said in a statement announcing the charges.

The criminal complaint (PDF), authored by Boston FBI Special Agent Thomas Dalton, quotes the emails, which were received by several Harvard email accounts at 8:30 a.m. Monday:

shrapnel bombs placed in:

science center
sever hall
emerson hall
thayer hall

2/4. guess correctly.

be quick for they will go off soon

The four buildings were then evacuated. No explosive devices were found.

While being questioned by authorities later, in his dorm, Kim allegedly admitted to sending the emails and said he acted alone, according to the complaint.

Kim told investigators he “was motivated by a desire to avoid a final exam,” according to the complaint. He was scheduled to take a final exam at 9 a.m. Monday in Emerson Hall. He was in the building when the fire alarm sounded for an evacuation, the complaint says.

Kim allegedly used the word “shrapnel” in his emails because he said he thought it sounded more dangerous.

Kim sent the emails using Guerrilla Mail, an “application that creates temporary and anonymous e-mail addresses available free of charge,” according to the complaint. He also allegedly used TOR, a service that assigns temporary and anonymous Internet Protocol (IP) addresses.

Kim will make an initial court appearance Wednesday in U.S. District Court.

According to the U.S. attorney’s office’s statement:

The maximum penalties under the bomb hoax statute are five years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine.

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  • kim

    Smart enough for Harvard, but no common sense

    • Ralph Goy

      Just like our political elite, eh?

  • Nathaniel Fridman

    Another Asian that couldn’t handle parent pressure of possible failure now he has federal state local expulsion from
    Harvard parents hating him
    Possible solution suicide

    • Gene Yoon

      Just, wow. Sweeping summations based on race sure are fun and time-saving, aren’t they? Even among wbur listeners. And the suicide cherry on top — piece de resistance.

  • Jess McCormick

    This sounds impulsive with little regard for consequences, I would guess that he may have been manic.

    • Ashley Simmons

      We do not know the mental health status of this student and it does not serve anyone to jump to conclusions.

  • RoxanneRoxanadana

    Does this mean he flunks the exam?

    • jefe68

      One would think the answer is yes, and then some.

      • RoxanneRoxanadana

        Not only did this poor fellow make the ultimate sacrifice for his GPA, he also assisted many other Harvard students, giving them precious extra time to study for their examinations. Have they thought about, you know, contributing to his defense fund as a sort of thank you?

  • Ashley Simmons

    It is disheartening that this student saw a bomb threat as the only viable option in this situation. What happened to discussing material with classmates and the professor in order to feel prepared. Why did he feel that this was the only reasonable choice?

  • J__o__h__n

    He should have just cheated.

  • kd

    WBUR should add to the news about this that beyond Harvard yard two Cambridge public schools nearby, Rindge high school and Baldwin Elementary, were put in lockdown for the duration.

  • guest2

    He was connected to Harvard wifi so they could see who he was and that he was using the anonymizing service at the time the threats were sent and had a final in one of those buildings at about the same time.

    Not enough to prove he did it but enough to get him to confess.

    • alexdifeo

      My guess is with a good lawyer if he kept his mouth shut it would be difficult to convict.

      He was on tor, so what.

  • http://www.facebook.com/markbuse Mark of WA

    Expulsion guaranteed. That’s a total failure of a criminal act.

    • alexdifeo

      Not only was it wrong, but he will forever be the stupid Harvard student that got caught.

  • http://www.facebook.com/markbuse Mark of WA

    This level of narcissism is a marker of a criminal mind.

    Better to honestly fail an exam rather than ruin one’s reputation for life by shutting a university down with bomb threats. Once caught, expulsion and a serious time-out in prison are almost a certainty. The expulsion and conviction will come out every time a prospective employer runs a pre-employment background check. On the other hand, few employers would ever care about a hard-working student who failed one exam, but went on to graduate anyway.

  • Bobby S

    I don’t know how this guy didn’t figure that investigators would find out who accessed TOR from the Harvard network. It’s pretty obvious that they can and will do that.

  • alexdifeo

    He should have bounced it off 300 servers all around the world like they do in the movies!

  • alexdifeo

    Poor Harvard kids, one less school day for them to plan and train for their future roles of telling the rest of us how to live.

  • audrey

    Students nowadays are just so damn afraid to be wrong and deathly afraid to fail. Ivy leagues with students committing suicide and now bomb threats with the intent to delay a final exam because of this fear. I blame the whole academic education system around the world that pummels this idea that being wrong equals failure.

    I may sound blunt and ignorant in saying this since I don’t know Eldo’s family situation or anything, but can’t one failure be forgiven as long as you make up for it? I wish someone would have told him that sometimes failure breeds success…which would have been that degree from Harvard. I feel that this is what should be stressed more in academic education…Just some thoughts.

    • http://www.facebook.com/markbuse Mark of WA

      Stress over potential failure is NOT NEW. Bomb threats have never been a viable solution for any sane person.

    • cassandramorrison

      It is not the school’s fault. The percentage of students that act in these antisocial ways is so mind-bogglingly LOW compared to how many are actually ATTENDING public schools that it becomes clear some other factor is operating in these cases.

  • http://www.facebook.com/markbuse Mark of WA

    When young adults still have not learned to deal with their failures without resulting to acts of murderous violence, or the threat of murderous violence, we have only to look at their parents and usually socialist government school teachers.

    In contrast, how many home-schooled or private-schooled kids every behave this way ?

    • cassandramorrison

      I don’t know but the majority of public school students don’t act that way either.

      “According the 2000 census figures: In 2000, 79.1 million people aged 3 and older were enrolled in (public) schooling, How many of those act this way? An extremely small percentage.

      I don’t think we can blame the public school system, Mark.

      • http://www.facebook.com/markbuse Mark of WA

        It’s a matter of statistics and propensities. Heartless, soulless industrial K-12 government-run education is THE PROBLEM for these people who explode and kill.

        • cassandramorrison

          No, their problem is that they are nut jobs.

  • http://www.facebook.com/markbuse Mark of WA

    If the nincompoop had been using a cellular data connection, especially a prepaid one acquired in a retail setting, he might never have been caught making terrorist threats for his own personal gain. There are always flaws to criminal plans.

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