As authorities were dealing this morning with the 11th bomb threat in the past three weeks at the University of Pittsburgh, Chancellor Mark Nordenberg issued a statement echoing the frustration on campus that police have been unable to quickly end the disruptive series of hoaxes.
"The inability to bring this succession of threats to a quick end obviously is a source of frustration for everyone whose life has been disrupted by them. But I can assure you that law enforcement professionals are doing everything they can to pursue all possible leads," Mr. Nordenberg said in a statement posted on the school's web site.
At 10:05 a.m. today an automatic alert went out from Pitt about a "general bomb threat" at the school's Chevron Science Center on Parkman Avenue. That followed two threats early this morning about a bomb in the Litchfield Towers dormitory that prompted authorities to clear the three buildings.
In his statement today, Mr. Nordenberg raised the specter of the March 8 shootings at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic and called those responsible for the bomb threats "heartless."
"Particularly given last month's shootings at the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic and recent reminders of violence on other campuses, those responsible for these threats not only lack basic respect for the thousands of people whose lives have been disrupted by them but must possess a heartless streak," Mr. Nordenberg said.
No explosives have been found at any of the locations that have been threatened.
Mr. Nordenberg sought to reassure the university community that police are doing all they can.
"Even without the motivation that might be provided by a reward, I ask all members of the university community to be especially attentive to any unusual activity and to share any relevant information with the University of Pittsburgh Police," Mr. Nordenberg said.
University of Pittsburgh officials are offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible. They could not remember a time when the university had offered such a reward before.
Pitt police have enlisted the help of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and handwriting experts while trying to solve the case. They have said that they intend to prosecute anyone connected to the threats to the "fullest extent possible" under federal and state laws.
Anyone with information can contact university police at(412) 624-2121 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jonathan D. Silver: email@example.com or 412-263-1962.