Arizona man arrested for making bomb threats to Harvard

Threats targeted ceremony for 2017 black graduates

By AMIR VERA, CNN
Harvard University News Office

Harvard University campus

(CNN) - An Arizona man was arrested Friday in connection with posting threats to bomb Harvard University and shoot attendees at its Black Commencement in 2017.

Nicholas Zuckerman, 24, was indicted on two counts of transmitting in interstate and foreign commerce a threat to injure the person of another, according to a statement from the District of Massachusetts U.S. Attorney's Office. Zuckerman will appear in federal court in Boston at a later date, the statement said.

Zuckerman's arrest comes one year after a concerned citizen reported threats made on Harvard University's Instagram account to the school's police, who referred the case to federal authorities.

According to the U.S. Attorney's statement, Zuckerman allegedly posted a comment under a photo stating: "If the blacks only ceremony happens, then I encourage violence and death at it. I'm thinking two automatics with extendo clips. Just so no n***** gets away."

Zuckerman allegedly posted another comment to the account that said: "#bombharvard and end their pro-black agenda." Several minutes later, he allegedly posted the hashtag "#bombharvard" 11 times to other Harvard Instagram photos in the span of four minutes.

CNN has reached out to Harvard University, the District of Massachusetts U.S. Attorney's Office and FBI for comment, but has not heard back. It is unclear if Zuckerman has legal representation at this time.

Honoring the achievements of black students

Last year was the first time Harvard's graduate school community came together to hold a ceremony for its black student body. The event honored the achievements of black students at the school and shared their experiences with the greater university campus. It was held two days before the university's traditional commencement.

More than 300 students and 500 guests registered to attend the event, which was optional.

Harvard has held similar black graduation ceremonies for undergraduate students in the past and already hosts an additional commencement ceremony for Latinx students.

Other universities, such as Columbia and Stanford, have also held similar commencement ceremonies specifically for black, LGBT, Asian, Latina and Native American students.

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