Thirty six states have seen suspicious packages to National Guard facilities, forty governors offices have had suspicious white powder letters, fifteen U.S. embassies in Europe have received letters with white powder, and most have a Texas postmark. In October, Chase, the FDIC and a home loan company received similar letters with white powder, also with a Texas postmark.
- Suspicious packages have been sent to National Guard bureaus and reserve facilities in 36 states. An internal report from the Department of Homeland Security said 51 packages included anti-war compact discs, with one having a suspicious powder, found later to not be toxic. All packages were postmarked from Tennessee and Oklahoma.
In Draper, Utah at the National Guard’s headquarters, a package was received by a worker who “deemed the package suspicious because it matched the description contained in a security advisory received [Monday] from National Guard Bureau.” The 85th Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team of the Guard was called to test the people in the mailroom at the time to make sure they weren’t exposed to any dangerous substances and to conduct tests on site. Those field tests had negative results. Later it was stated there was no white powder in that package according to one report, but according to several others, there was white powder in that package however, it was later found to be non-toxic.
In recent days the 28th Division headquarters in Harrisburg, PA and another facility in Coraopolis have received suspicious mailings. Those mailings were out of Memphis, TN. Lt. Col. Chris Cleaver, public affairs officer for the PA National Guard said the package included a DVD, a picture of the flat at the remains of the World trade center and “other items.”
- Fifteen U.S. embassies in Europe have also received letters containing a suspicious white substance, and tests have shown 14 of them to be harmless. Test results from one has not yet been received. Among the American embassies receiving the suspicious envelopes were those in Bern, Berlin, Brussels, Madrid, Oslo, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Riga, Paris, Rome, Bucharest and The Hague. All letters were postmarked from Texas.
- Forty governor's offices nationwide have also gotten the letters, which contain an unspecified note, that have been sent since October. Letters have arrived in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wyoming and West Virginia along with Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. [If I counted them correctly..] The typewritten letters are “similar in nature” and makes some sort of threat, officials said. All those letters were postmarked from the Dallas, Texas area, possibly San Antonio. The FBI has declined to say if the letters are specifically addressed to each governor or written to a generic “governor’s office” address.
In Nevada, there has been two letters received. One was addressed to Gov. Jim Gibbon’s Las Vegas office, and the other, received the same day, was addressed to former Gov. Kenny Guinn in Carson City. After two early tests at the Carson City Fire Department lab showed the possibility of anthrax, the FBI took the substance to a more sophisticated lab, with the third test showing the substance as harmless. Two false-positive results also came back from the initial field tests in Vegas. Both letters had a Texas postmark.
In Pennsylvania, the letter bore a Dec. 8th postmark from North Texas. Wayne Boulware, the worker who opened the letter, said the letter contained only one sentence, spelled out in capital letters: “ARE YOU AL QAEDA?”
In Maryland, ABC7/News Channel 8 reporter John Gonzalez learned that the substance in Annapolis was a protein additive.
The Florida letter, interestingly enough, was addressed to former Governor Jeb Bush.
The Alabama letter contained a “harmless food substance”, and Christopher Murphy, Alabama’s public safety director, said the letter received did not specifically target the Governor, but declined to elaborate on what it said.
In Missouri, a chemical analysis by the state health lab found the powder appeared to be a bleached flour.
In Wyoming, the white powdery substance was found to be corn starch.
In Hawaii, authorities had previous warned the governor’s office to be on the lookout for suspicious letters with a return address from San Antonio, Texas. A clerk to the governor found a letter from San Antonio, and called security. That letter was addressed to the current governor, Linda Lingle. A test with a confidence rating of 98 percent indicated the substance inside the letter was cornstarch.
The letter received by Utah did not have a post mark from Dallas, and declined to say exactly where it was from.
- Additionally, in October, letters, many containing a suspicious white powder, were sent to many Chase bank offices, possibly more than 30, and two other financial institutions in several states and to the New York Times headquarters in New York. At the time, more than 45 threatening letters had been received at financial institutions in at least 11 states. “Most of the letters contain a powder substance with a threatening communication,” FBI spokesman Richard Kolko said. Those letters warned “it’s payback time” according to the FBI. FBI agent Mark White, spokesman for the FBI office in Dallas, said in October that in addition to the Chase banks, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. in Dallas and the U.S. Office of Thrift Supervision in nearby Irving, Texas, and the Federal Home Loan Bank in Atlanta, also received threatening letters and a white powdery substance.
In one of the letters, addressed to the JP Morgan Chase CEO, Jamie Dimon, threatened a series of attacks ending in an Oklahoma City-like bombing. The writer accused Dimon of stealing WaMu, which JP Morgan recently took over.
ABC News reported that the threat letters sent to Chase banks were all postmarked October 17 and 18, in Amarillo, Texas.
The Times letter did not carry a Texas postmark and contained a different substance, according to the AP.
- Similar scares have taken place at the Los Angeles and Salt Lake temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and a Knights of Columbus building in Connecticut in November. In all cases, the substance was found to be harmless.
FBI spokesman in Dallas, Mark White, has stated on the incidents that “Once these letters start showing up, they’ll keep showing up for days because some delivery of mail takes longer than others.”
FBI spokesman Richard Kolko says, “Unfortunately this sort of hoax letter is phenomenally common.” “In the last two years, we’ve had over 900 responses to white powder or WMD issues, and that doesn’t account for the countless numbers of incidents that don’t make it past the local police and fire departments.”
“We get them from a variety of people,” Kolko said. “A lot of times we find they are people in jail sending them to judges and lawyers, disgruntled citizens and kids. It runs the gamut. The problem is that people out of ignorance think if they send sugar or flour, ‘What can they do to me?’ Well, it’s a federal crime. A hoax is not a joke, and they will go to jail.”
Well, there’s not going to be a rant on this one however, this is one of those new things that I will follow pretty closely. Profiling on anonymous letters to people you have never met is something that’s not well documented, but it seems to happen quite often. The Why? + How? = Who on this is not adding up to me. How this person is doing it, well USPS from possibly TX, if they aren’t using a mail drop. Why is the question? What happened in this person’s life to “push” them to act? And what did this person plan on getting out of sending anonymous letters? Personal satisfaction? Did the person end up in a bad financial situation, lose their home, become depressed, lost “touch” a bit, and now blames the government for this persons bad fortunes?
Yea, I like reading mysteries…..
- “Feds: Suspicious packages sent to Guard, Reserve”, USA Today, 17DEC08
- “White Powder Sent To U.S. Embassies”, CBS News, 17DEC08
- “White powder mailed to 16 U.S. embassies in Europe”, Reuters, 17DEC08
- “’Suspicious Letters’ Case Goes International”, CBS News, 16DEC08
- State Department Press Briefing, 17DEC08
- “Suspicious White Powder Letters Received Around the United States”, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Dallas Press Release, 12DEC08
- “Suspicious White Powder Letters Received Around the United States”, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Dallas Press Release, 17DEC08
- “Tests Show Powder Sent to Governors Is Harmeless”, New York Times, 14DEC08
- “Ritter office gets letter with suspicious powder”, The Denver Post, 12DEC08
- “Find, Punish Sender of Hoaxes to Governors”, News-Register (WV), 15DEC08
- “Powder Campaign Hits More Than 30 U.S. Governors”, Global Security Newswire, 15DEC08
- “U.S. Governors receiving letters with suspicious white powder”, Birmingham Progressive Politics Examiner, 11DEC08
- “Alaska governor’s office sent suspicious powder”, AP Texas News, 09DEC08
- “Envelope with powder sent to Minner’s office”, 6 Action News, 16DEC08
- “Letter containing ‘powdery substance’ delivered to Codey’s Trenton office”, NJ.com, 12DEC08
- “Washington latest state to get suspicious powder”, AP, 15DEC08
- “SD governor’s office gets letter with white powder”, AP, 12DEC08
- “Envelope with mysterious white powder was addressed to former Gov. Bush”, Tallahassee Democrat, 12DEC08
- “Suspicious Package Closes State Office Building”, Las Vegas NOW, 14DEC08
- “Suspicious Powder in gov’s letter was corn starch”, Riverton Radio, 15DEC08
- “Mail with white powder spurs lockdown at governor’s office,” Honolulu Advertiser, 11DEC08
- “Utah State Capitol joins list of white powder recipients”, KSL, 11DEC08
- “’White Powder’ Also Mailed to Oklahoma’s Governor”, KTEN, 10DEC08
- “Suspicious mail shuts Guard headquarters in Draper”, Deseret News, 16DEC08
- “Baldacci receives suspect powder”, AP, 11DEC08
- “Powder mailed to state offices determined to be non-toxic”, Las Vegas Review Journal, 12DEC08
- “Heineman, Culver sent envelopes with white powder”, Omaha World-Herald, 13DEC08
- “Suspicious package in Draper a false alarm”, The Salt Lake Tribune, 17DEC08
- “Powder clears part of Rendell’s office suite”, Penn Live, 18DEC08
- “White Powder Letters Received Around the U.S., Including Maryland”, ABC 7, 17DEC08
- “Chase Bank Hoax Threat Letters Sent from Amarillo, Texas”, 21OCT2008
- “’White powder’ letters hit more banks and N.Y. Times but could be harmless”, NowPublic, 22OCT08
- “FBI says white powder sent to Mormons is harmless”, The Pew Forum, 18NOV08
- “Exclusive: Letter Threatens Chase Bank CEO, ‘You Will Be Killed’”, ABC News, 22OCT08
- “Threatening Letters”, FBI Press Room, 23OCT08