NYU Received a Message Threatening U.S. Universities


Hannah Shulman

The email was framed as a general threat towards U.S. universities and colleges and did not mention NYU directly.

Alex Bazeley, Editor-in-Chief

NYU was targeted with a message threatening American colleges and universities on Wednesday, university spokesman John Beckman said in a statement to WSN. The threat comes in the wake of the attack at an Orlando nightclub that killed 49, amounting to the worst mass shooting in United States history.

NYU was not the only university to receive such a threat, with at least one other institution of higher education receiving a similar message. 

Beckman clarified that there was no threat specific to NYU, and that the information in question was received not in an email but through a webform — something often used with contact forms and surveys. The message was not sent directly to President Andrew Hamilton, as WSN earlier reported.

“NYU received a message via a ‘webform’ — not an email — that carried a general threat of violence against American colleges and universities,” Beckman said in an email. “We quickly alerted both the NYPD and the FBI to the message.”

The New York Post reported that the threat specifically referenced the attack in Orlando and stated that a similar attack would be carried out on U.S. universities.

Despite the scare, no indication has been given that the threat goes beyond an anonymous message. An FBI spokesperson speaking to DNAinfo New York suggested that the public need not overreact to threats such as this.

“We will be working closely with law enforcement and following their guidance on campus safety,” Beckman said.

WSN could not independently verify the text of the email.

CORRECTION: The threatening message was not sent directly to President Hamilton; rather, it was sent to NYU via a generic webform. The story has been updated to reflect this. WSN regrets the error.

Email Alex Bazeley at [email protected].