Several US government installations near Washington, including three military sites, received suspicious packages in the mail, the FBI reported on Tuesday.
Several US government installations near Washington, including three military sites, received suspicious packages in the mail, the FBI reported on Tuesday. Besides the military installations at Fort McNair and the Anacostia-Bolling naval base, both in Washington, the headquarters of the CIA, Fort Belvoir and the Naval Surface Warfare Center — the latter three in Virginia — also received suspicious packages, Efe reported.
“The FBI responded to multiple government facilities today for the reports of suspicious packages,” the FBI said in a statement. “Each package was collected for further analysis by the FBI.” The FBI also said that the packages had been determined to contain “potential destructive devices,” adding that they were apparently mailed from Seattle and announcing that one suspect has been arrested.
The man, identified as Thanh Cong Phan, 43, “was taken into custody by FBI Seattle and the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office at his residence in Everett, Washington,” the bureau said. Authorities warned, however, that it is possible that the suspect sent other package bombs that may not yet have arrived at their destinations, and so it is working with the US Postal Service to either locate such packages or rule out the possibility that they are in the mail.
Despite the fact that no official details have been released about the mailings, it is known that at least one of the objects, the one received at the National Defense University at Fort McNair, contained a black powder – which could be gunpowder – a fuse and a GPS device, although authorities rendered it harmless. As a precaution, one of the buildings at the military installation, located in southern Washington, was evacuated, ABC News reported.
The sending of these packages comes at an especially delicate time, after Mark Anthony Conditt, 23, sowed terror for several weeks in and around Austin, Texas, by sending at least five package bombs to various locations, causing the deaths of two people and injuring five others. Last Wednesday, as authorities were closing in to arrest him, Conditt detonated a bomb he had with him, killing himself.