Tags: FBI: | Mailbox | Bombs | Came | From | Same | Source

FBI: Mailbox Bombs Came From Same Source

Monday, 06 May 2002 12:00 AM

The bombs were nearly identical and came from the same source but differed in their detonation mechanisms, the FBI said Monday.

"There is no question that these were planted by the same person or persons," agent Larry Holmquist said in Omaha, Neb. Anti-government letters planted with the bombs were identical, he said.

In Salida, Colo., sheriffs said a pipe bomb was found in a mailbox in town, Fox News reported. They said they don't know whether the bomb was similar to the ones found in the Midwest.

Meanwhile, the Nebraska State Patrol was investigating a report of a possible pipe bomb east of Hastings in Adams County.

Postal officials issued safety guidelines advising residents to either tape open their mailboxes or remove the doors as a precaution to ensure delivery.

"Customers are asked to either remove the door or leave it open at all times," said Davenport, Iowa, Postmaster Dan Foley. "Carriers will leave the door open after they deposit the mail."

Foley said no mail would be delivered to a closed mailbox.

Letter carriers were delivering mail normally at apartment buildings where boxes are kept locked and businesses that do not require roadside delivery. Anyone who suspects his mailbox has been tampered with is advised to contact postal inspectors and local law enforcement authorities.

Four postal workers and two residents were injured Friday when pipe bombs exploded in rural mailboxes in Iowa and Illinois. None of the injuries were life-threatening.

In Tipton, Iowa, 70-year-old Delores Werling suffered serious injuries to her hands, ears and face when a pipe bomb exploded Friday afternoon. Doris Zimmerman, a 61-year-old woman in rural Anamosa, was injured as she retrieved her mail and a 14-year-old girl delivering newspapers narrowly escaped injury near Eldridge. Pipe bombs were found in rural Carroll, Jo Daviess and Whiteside counties in western Illinois and Dubuque, and Jones and Scott counties in eastern Iowa.

None of the seven bombs discovered in Nebraska exploded. Two devices found Sunday evening in Albion and St. Paul turned out to be hoaxes. Three devices were harmlessly detonated, and the others were burned, state police said.

Police believe the nearly identical pipe bombs, described as 3/4-inch steel pipes packed with black powder and attached to 9-volt batteries, were planted randomly. Most of the mailboxes were near major roads allowing the bomber quick and easy access.

The pipe bomb scare comes six months after anthrax was found in letters mailed on the East Coast.

The FBI called the pipe bombings acts of domestic terrorism.

"We can't confirm that it's only one individual," FBI Special Agent in Charge James Bolger said on "CBS Morning News." "We believe that it is because the letters written are in the first person ... but we are not ruling out that it may be more than one individual."

Investigators said devices found inside mailboxes near the Nebraska communities of Columbus, Davenport, Ohiowa, Ord and Scotia might not have been designed to explode on contact, but they warn the bomber might strike again in Midwest or Western states.

Each device was accompanied by the same letter that was identical to typewritten letters found with pipe bombs left in rural mailboxes in Iowa and Illinois.

The text of the anti-government letter begins: "Mailboxes are exploding! Attention people, You do things because you can and want (desire) to. If the government controls what you want to do, they control what you can do."

The closing paragraph warns: "More 'attention getters' are on the way." The letter is signed, "Someone who cares."

Copyright 2002 by United Press International.

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The bombs were nearly identical and came from the same source but differed in their detonation mechanisms, the FBI said Monday. There is no question that these were planted by the same person or persons, agent Larry Holmquist said in Omaha, Neb. Anti-government...
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Monday, 06 May 2002 12:00 AM
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