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Harvard Student Accused of E-Mail Bomb Threats to School

Harvard University
A gate sits locked on Quincy Street at Harvard University during a bomb scare in Cambridge, Massachusetts on Dec. 16, 2013. Photographer: Darren McCollester/Getty Images

A Harvard University student was charged by U.S. prosecutors with e-mailing bomb threats that spurred the evacuation of four of the school’s buildings during final exams.

Eldo Kim, 20, of Cambridge, Massachusetts, is charged with a single count of making a bomb hoax, a crime punishable by as long as five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz said yesterday in a statement.

Kim’s initial court appearance is set for today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Judith Dein in Boston. He will be represented by a federal public defender, a spokeswoman for Ortiz, Christina Sterling, said in an e-mailed message.

At about 8:30 a.m. on Dec. 16, the university police, two officials of the school and the president of the Harvard Crimson daily student newspaper got identical e-mails with a subject line that read “bombs placed around campus,” according to a sworn statement by Special Agent Thomas M. Dalton of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Kim was interviewed by the FBI and by a Harvard police officer, Dalton said. He waived his constitutional right to have an attorney present and admitted to writing the e-mailed threats, according to the FBI agent.

“According to Kim, he was motivated by a desire to avoid a final exam,” Dalton said.

Prosecutors provided Dalton’s affidavit. It couldn’t be located on the Massachusetts federal court’s electronic docket.

The bomb threat led to the closing of the Science Center, Sever Hall, Thayer Hall and Emerson Hall, as well as Harvard Yard, the original campus of the 377-year-old school. They were reopened hours later.

The case is U.S. v. Kim, U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts (Boston).

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