UPenn notifies FBI of ‘disturbing’ antisemitic emails ‘threatening violence’ against its Jewish community

The University of Pennsylvania alerted the FBI of threatening messages its staff members received targeting its Jewish community, and an investigation is underway, according to an email obtained by Fox News Digital.

Penn president Liz Magill emailed the campus community on Monday advising them that university staff members received “disturbing antisemitic emails” “threatening violence” against its Jewish community. The messages included “hateful language” and targeted “the personal identities of the recipients.”

The “vile” antisemitic emails specifically named Penn Hillel, a Jewish organization at the university, and Lauder College House, an on-campus housing unit. 

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Magill said Penn’s Division of Public Safety was immediately alerted to the threats. The Penn police subsequently notified the FBI of the “potential hate crime,” and a joint investigation is underway. 

“Based on these emails, Penn’s Division of Public Safety conducted thorough safety sweeps of Penn Hillel and Lauder College House and found no credible threat at this time,” Magill wrote in her email. “Penn Police will remain on site until further notice and has increased security presence throughout our campus.”

“At a time when campuses across the country are being targeted with these types of threats, my first and highest priority is the safety and security of our community,” Magill said. “Threats of violence are not tolerated at Penn and will be met with swift and forceful action. Penn Public Safety is working urgently with the FBI to identify the individual or individuals who are responsible for these hateful, threatening emails and to ensure they are apprehended and punished to the fullest extent of the law.”

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A Penn spokesperson said they have no further comment beyond Magill’s message to the community. The FBI’s national press office did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.

Penn has been among several universities facing criticism over its handling of antisemitic events on campuses following Hamas’ deadly attacks and Israel’s response.

Penn first found itself in hot water shortly before the attacks when groups at the university held a “Palestine Writes” festival on campus in September, which included speakers who had a history of antisemitic comments.

After several students expressed concern about the event, Magill and school leaders issued a statement saying they “unequivocally – and emphatically – condemn antisemitism as antithetical to our institutional values.”

Magill faced calls from several university donors to resign for not doing enough to combat antisemitism on campus. This event and others led her to recently announce an “action plan” focusing on safety and security, engagement and education. 

“Across the country and world, we are witnessing pernicious acts of antisemitism, including on college and university campuses,” Magill said in a previous statement. “I am appalled by incidents on our own campus, and I’ve heard too many heartbreaking stories from those who are fearful for their safety right here at Penn. This is completely unacceptable.”

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