Half a dozen defense and intelligence installations around the Washington area had reportedly received suspicious packages early Monday morning. Authorities have confirmed that the packages had contained explosive components. According to the Wall Street Journal, some of the packages had letters attached to them, which included “ramblings” written by the mysterious sender. Law enforcement officials confirmed that the packages had contained explosive components such as fuse attachments, GPS locators, and black powder.
As reported by Vox, the first package apparently arrived at the National Defense University at Fort McNair in Washington at around 8:30 in the morning. The facility is currently where the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency is based. Shortly after inspectors determined that the package had tested positive for black powder, the facility was immediately evacuated. X-ray scans also confirmed that the package had contained several other components that were commonly used on improvised explosive devices or IEDs.
Several key military locations received similar packages later that day, including the Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, the White House mail processing center, the CIA mail processing center, Fort Belvoir, and the Dahlgren Naval Air Station in Virginia. As of this writing, it isn’t clear just yet exactly how many military and intelligence installations were targeted. The FBI immediately responded to the threat by sending agents to the locations.
Bomb squads were also deployed to the affected areas to assess the situation. Teams were deployed to clear out the buildings of possible additional explosives. Fort McNair was cleared at around 1:15 p.m. Fortunately, none of the packages had exploded, and no one was hurt or injured.
The U.S. Army recently issued a statement and revealed that the packages that were sent to the installations have already been “rendered safe.” It isn’t clear yet if the packages had contained working bombs and authorities have not yet revealed any details regarding the identity of the sender or who the packages were being mailed to. The FBI has collected all of the packages for further analysis.
Investigators are still trying to determine if all of the packages are linked and if all of them were sent from a single location. Authorities believe that whoever sent the packages may have sent them letters beforehand.