NPR receives bomb threat; timing suggests link to Juan Williams firing
NPR received a bomb threat Monday, five days after its decision to fire news analyst Juan Williams sparked a hugely negative reaction.
Sources at the news organization said the threat was received via U.S. mail and was immediately turned over to local police and the FBI. The organization did not publicly disclose the threat or release details, on the advice of law enforcement officials.
The letter didn’t reference the Williams firing specifically, but people at NPR, who spoke about it on the condition of anonymity, said the timing and tone suggested it was sent after Williams’s widely publicized termination.
Williams was dismissed as an NPR analyst late Wednesday after he appeared on Fox News Channel’s “O’Reilly Factor” and expressed his personal anxiety about flying on planes with people in “Muslim garb.” Later in the same interview, however, he spoke out against profiling people on racial or religious grounds.
NPR officials said the remark was the last straw in a long series of disputes with Williams over his comments and appearances on Fox News.
NPR warned its employees Monday about a general “security threat” in a staff memo, but did not spell out the nature of the threat. The radio and digital news organization is headquartered in its own building in downtown Washington.