Eldo Kim, Harvard Student, Charged in Bomb Scare Hoax

December 17, 2013 Updated: December 17, 2013

Eldo Kim, a Harvard student, was identified as the suspect who caused the bomb scare at Harvard on Monday. Officials believe that the called in the hoax threat to get out of taking a 9 a.m. final exam.

The bomb scare forced evacuations throughout the campus, and it lasted several hours.

According to the FBI, NBC News reported that Kim, a 20-year-old student who lives in Cambridge, e-mailed the bomb threats to school official, and he was charged in the case.

Kim allegedly wrote in the e-mail that there were “shrapnel bombs placed in science center, sever hall, emerson hall, thayer hall, 2/4. guess correctly. be quick for they will go off soon,” CBS reported.

He can get a maximum of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

Officials found no evidence of bombs at the Cambridge, Mass., campus.

He is accused of sending two threats via  anonymous e-mail messages saying there were bombs at the campus’ Science Center, Sever Hall, Emerson Hall, and Thayer Hall.

Investigators said that Kim was slated to take a final exam on Monday at 9 a.m. in Emerson Hall. And when alarms went off, “he knew his plan had worked,” said a complaint in regards to his case..

 According to Harvard’s website, it said that Eldo Kim is a “freshman intending to concentrate in Psychology and pursue a secondary in Japanese. He is currently a research assistant for Professor Gary King in analyzing partisan taunting.” 

It added: “On campus, Eldo writes for the Harvard International Review and dances as a member of 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.”

According to a complaint, Kim used “Guerrilla Mail, an Internet application that creates temporary and anonymous e-mail addresses available free of charge.”

“Further investigation yielded information that the person who sent the e-mail messages accessed Guerrilla Mail by using a product called TOR, which is also available free of charge on the Internet and which automatically assigns an anonymous Internet Protocol (“IP”) address that can be used for a limited period of time,” it reads.

AP update below:

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — Four buildings on Harvard University’s campus were evacuated Monday after police received an email claiming that explosive devices may have been hidden inside, but after hours of searches and disruptions to final exams, no suspicious devices were found.

The buildings were evacuated and access to Harvard Yard was restricted after the email was received at about 8:40 a.m. Monday, shortly before students were set to begin final exams.

Investigators from several agencies searched the buildings for hours and cleared students to return to all four by mid-afternoon. One of the buildings was a freshman dormitory; classes are held in the other three.

In a statement to the Harvard community, Harvard Executive Vice President Katie Lapp said that the buildings were evacuated “out of an abundance of caution” and that activities at the Ivy League school in Cambridge were returning to normal.

“I am relieved to report that no suspicious devices were found,” Lapp said in her statement.

She said Harvard police, and local, state and federal authorities, are continuing to investigate to find out who is responsible.

Harvard officials would not comment on speculation among students that the email was a hoax timed to coincide with finals at the school.

“I have a good guess somebody called it in so they wouldn’t have to take an exam,” said Alexander Ryjik, a junior from Alexandria, Va., who was just about to take his Politics of American Education final when the evacuations were announced.

“It’s frustrating because now the exam will have to be postponed,” he said.

Harvard did not immediately say when students would be allowed to take the finals that were cancelled because of the evacuations.

The mood on campus was calm as students streamed out of Harvard Yard on a frigid morning with temperatures in the 20s. The gates around the yard were closed and people were allowed to leave but not enter unless they had school IDs.

A classroom building was also briefly evacuated Monday at the University of Massachusetts-Boston, which has 16,000 undergraduates and graduate students who are also taking final exams this week. University police got a call from someone who said they had seen a person with a gun in the building, which was closed while university, Boston and state police searched it. They determined there was no one with a gun and the call is being investigated, said school spokesman DeWayne Lehman.

Last month, another Ivy League school, Yale University in Connecticut, was locked down for nearly six hours while authorities investigated a phone call saying an armed man was heading to shoot it up, a warning they later said was likely a hoax.

And in February, someone called in a hoax about a gunman on the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, another elite school about two miles from Harvard. The university said the caller claimed the gunman was a staff member looking for revenge after the suicide of an Internet activist accused of illegally using MIT computers.