The university's police has notified the FBI and local law enforcement agencies about the racially charged email, in which its author claimed that he or she would come to Harvard on Saturday at "11 clock" and "shoot all of you" and "kill you individually," according to a report in the Harvard Crimson.
Addressed to "All students at Harvard," the text of the emails included racist language and referred to their intended recipients as "slit-eyes."
Several of the emails’ intended recipients appear to have Asian surnames.
The emails are alleged to have been sent by one Stephanie Nguyen, who claims to live in Boston. The address from which the first email was received, however, identified the sender as Eduardo Nguyen.
The email's time stamp indicates that it was sent at 4:44 p.m. Friday from a "hotmail.de" email address.
Harvard University Police Department spokesperson Steven Catalano said that while the university cannot verify whether the threat is real, the police plans to increase its campus presence on the weekend.
In a community advisory message, Catalano advised Harvard students to familiarize themselves with US Department of Homeland Security’s active shooter safety guidelines.
Cambridge Police Department spokesperson Jeremy Warnick said it is supporting the Harvard police in its investigation.
"We are aware of the email and of the threats," Warnick said. "We are going to support HUPD as much as they need us. They’ll obviously take the lead on this, but we are there to support."
The Harvard-Radcliffe Asian American Association and several other Asian cultural groups on campus had planned to co-host an event on the Asian American experience at Harvard on Saturday afternoon.