Investigation ensues after Harvard students receive death threats
This past Friday afternoon, hundreds of Harvard University students and affiliates received identical death threats via email from a “hotmail.de” address and a Google Mail address. The Harvard University Police Department (HUPD) reported no suspicious activity on campus immediately following the email distribution.
According to The Crimson, the sender claimed they planned to come to Harvard on Saturday; the email that stated he or she would arrive at “11 clock” and “shoot all of you” and “kill you individually.” The threat was written in broken English and contained vulgarities and strong racist language.
Another set of emails was sent out from the same address to the original recipients the following day. In this batch of emails, the sender apologized for the threat and claimed that the previous threats were mistakenly sent.
The original threat identified the sender as a Boston resident named Stephanie Nguyen, but the second stated that the address owner’s younger brother had written the threat and that both siblings lived in France.
The Google Mail address has been attributed to someone named Huy Dinh, who has self-identified as such in previous emails sent to Harvard students over the past several months from the same address. The previous emails sent from this address asked for monetary donations and requested followers for the sender’s Facebook pages.
The Crimson sent an email to the address attributed to Huy Dinh asking for comment, but only received a request that it delete the online story about the mass death threat.
Many of the recipients of the death threat were female Asian students. Several of Harvard’s Asian cultural clubs postponed an event that had previously been scheduled for Saturday afternoon. In a notice postponing the event, the organizers expressed their sympathy for those who had received the threat as well as provided a list of campus resources for these students.
Cambridge Police and the FBI are currently assisting HUPD with the ongoing investigation concerning the threat.
—Patricia Z. Dominguez