Man arrested in suspicious packages sent to military sites

U.S. & World
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FILE – This April 17, 2013 file photo shows the gate for the Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington. The Defense Department says they are tracking the delivery of suspicious packages to multiple military installations in the Washington, region. The FBI’s Washington field office said in a statement that the bureau “responded to multiple government facilities” […]

WASHINGTON (AP) — Authorities near Seattle have arrested a man suspected of sending suspicious packages to multiple military installations in the Washington, D.C., region, the FBI said Tuesday, warning that he may have mailed other “destructive devices” that have not yet been found.

The packages were similarly designed and contained black powder along with rambling, nonsensical notes similar to those the man has been known to send in the past, according to a U.S. official who was not authorized to discuss an ongoing investigation and did so on condition of anonymity.

The FBI identified the man as Tranh Cong Phan, 43. He was arrested late Monday at his home in Everett, Washington and was set to appear in federal court Tuesday afternoon.

Roughly a dozen sites received packages Monday, including Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling and Fort Lesley J. McNair in the district; at Fort Belvoir, in Virginia; the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division, in Dahlgren, Virginia; and the CIA. No injuries were reported, and the FBI said each package was collected for further analysis.

Phan’s motive was not immediately clear, but the official said there was no immediate connection to terrorism.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told reporters on Tuesday that all of the packages sent to Defense Department facilities are under the control of the federal authorities.

“Basically there’s a set procedure, they went through the procedure,” said Mattis. “We’ve had nobody injured and all those packages and all the evidence is accessible and is the hands of the FBI right now.”

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