Harvard Student Charged in Bomb Hoax

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Dec. 17 2013 7:33 PM

Harvard Student Charged in Exam Week Bomb Hoax

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A police car seals off Quincy Street at Harvard University during Monday's bomb scare.

Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images

On Monday, Harvard got a scare when campus officials received an anonymous bomb threat. The university, understandably, took the situation seriously locking down the campus and cancelling what was scheduled to be a day full of exams in the affected areas. A six-hour search of the campus on Monday, however, resulted in zero bombs. On Tuesday, 20-year-old undergraduate Eldo Kim was charged with the bomb hoax.

The criminal complaint filed by the US Attorney’s office provides new details into the bomb scare. On Monday morning, according to the complaint, Kim sent emails to university police, Harvard officials, and the Harvard Crimson, the university student-run newspaper, saying that “shrapnel bombs” had been placed at four buildings around campus. In the email that contained the subject line “bombs placed around campus,” WBZ Boston reports, Kim wrote: “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 Boston Globe reports that, according to the FBI, Kim used the service Guerilla Mail to hide his identity.

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Kim, according to the Globe, is a research assistant at Harvard’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science and wrote for the Harvard International review. He was also a dancer with the Harvard Breakers. “In his free time, he enjoys playing pool, trying new restaurants, watching terrible cult films, and playing with his Mini Schnauzer puppy,” his online bio at the Institute reads, according to the Globe.

Kim could face up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the hoax. The Harvard Crimson reports, according to the affidavit, Kim said he was “motivated by a desire to avoid a final exam scheduled to be held on [Monday].” Kim showed up to take his exam in Emerson Hall at 9 a.m. when the fire alarm went off, says the Crimson.

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.