Harvard University held its first commencement for black students in May 2017, two days ahead of the main ceremony. Authorities say an Arizona man had made threats against the event. (Reuters)
An Arizona man was arrested Friday in connection with threats made last year to bomb and shoot attendees of a commencement ceremony for black students at Harvard University, authorities said.
— azcentral (@azcentral) June 9, 2018
The suspect, identified as Nicholas Zuckerman, 24, faces federal charges of “transmitting in interstate and foreign commerce a threat to injure the person of another,” the Arizona Republic reported, citing the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts.
“If the blacks only ceremony happens, then I encourage violence and death at it. I’m thinking two automatics with extend clips. Just so no (N-word) gets away,” Zuckerman wrote on multiple Harvard Instagram posts in May 2017.
Zuckerman used the hashtag “bombharvard” approximately 11 times in the span of four minutes, authorities said.
Harvard held its first Black Commencement ceremony on May 23, 2017. The event was separate from Harvard’s main commencement, which took place two days later.
"Congratulations to #BlackHarvard you are all an inspiration to every black child out there," one Twitter user wrote.
— Zakhele Nkosi (@Zak_Legend) May 23, 2017
"Minutes away from Harvard’s first-ever black graduation! #BlackHarvard #HarvardBC" wrote another.
— D. White (@dewjr87) May 23, 2017
The University’s Police Department first got wind of Zuckerman’s post and handed off the case to federal authorities.
Zuckerman is due in a Boston federal court. According to public records, his most recent residence was in Tempe, Ariz., about 10 miles east of Phoenix.
Zuckerman faces up to five years in prison and a fine of $250,000 if convicted.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Bradford Betz is an editor for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @bradford_betz.