Starting Monday,‚ more than 50‚ threatening letters started to arrive at Chase Bank, the FDIC, and government offices.
The letters, originating from‚ Amarillo, Texas, contained a white powdery substance that was found to be harmless, and the FBI is investigating.
“Sending a hoax letter is a serious crime, and a drain on law enforcement resources,” said FBI Section Chief Doug Perdue,‚ “We will continue to work diligently to identify and arrest those responsible.”
Yesterday, the FBI released photographs of one of the hoax letter and its envelope.
“STEAL TENS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE’S MONEY AND NOT
EXPECT REPRERCUSSIONS. IT’S PAYBACK TIME. WHAT YOU
JUST BREATHED IN WILL KILL YOU WITHIN 10 DAYS
THANK —— AND THE FDIC FOR YOUR DEMISE”
Letters were received in 11 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, and Virginia.‚ The FBI, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and state and local authorities are investigating each incident.
“People who have mailed these kinds of hoax letters in the past have received some serious jail time” said FBI press chief, Richard Kolko, in a statement Wednesday.‚ “This investigation will continue until those responsible are arrested, and we appreciate the public’s support by providing information.”
Authorities have set up a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whomever is behind the letter hoax.
For several weeks after September 11, 2001, a series of letter-based attacks occurred, with letters containing anthrax spores being mailed to several news media offices and two Democratic U.S. Senators, killing five people and infecting 17 others. The primary suspect was not identified publicly until earlier this year.‚ Bruce Edwards Ivins, a former government scientist killed himself via drug overdose on August 1.