Global Security Newswire
Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues
Charges Filed in Powder Mailings to Lawmakers
A federal grand jury on Friday delivered charges against an Oregon man suspected of sending roughly 100 parcels filled with a harmless powder and angry messages to U.S. lawmakers and media entities, Reuters reported (see GSN, Feb. 28).
Christopher Lee Carlson, 39, faces separate charges of mailing a threatening communication to a member of Congress and mailing a letter threatening to use a biological weapon to a U.S. senator.
The U.S. Capitol Police said in a statement that Carlson was taken into custody at his home near Portland on Friday.
The white powder found in the envelopes has been determined harmless in testing to date, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Portland. However, Carlson is alleged to have made menacing statements in the messages sent to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.).
An envelope sent to Mikulski's office in Baltimore "indicated that it may contain a lethal pathogen to which the recipient may have been exposed," according to the grand jury indictment.
"Threatening letters -- whether hoax or real -- are serious concerns that federal law enforcement agencies will aggressively pursue," Greg Fowler, special agent in charge of the FBI office in Oregon, said in prepared comments.
Authorities offered no immediate statement on why Carlson might have sent the envelopes to lawmakers and other recipients such as the New York Times, National Public Radio and "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart" (Theresa Carson, Reuters/Chicago Tribune, March 9).
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