Man charged with shipping explosives to military sites

Associated Press


A Seattle-area man suspected of sending suspicious packages to multiple government agencies and military installations around the nation’s capital was charged Tuesday with shipping explosive materials.

Thanh Cong Phan, 43, of Everett, was charged with one count of shipment of explosive materials in federal court in Seattle, where he made his initial appearance Tuesday.

A complaint alleges that Phan shipped a vial containing black powder with a fuse March 16 from a U.S. Postal Service kiosk in Mill Creek, north of Seattle. Ashwin Cattamanchi, a public defender representing Phan, declined to comment on the case.

Eleven suspicious packages were received through the U.S. Postal Service at government agencies and military installations in the Washington D.C. area, including the U.S. Secret Service White House Mail Screen Facility, the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division, in Dahlgren, Va., and the mailing facility for FBI headquarters in Baltimore, according to the complaint.

Each package contained what appeared to be a homemade explosive device in a small glass bottle with an unknown black power with a fuse, the complaint says. It also contained a typewritten letter with “ramblings about neuropsychology, mind control and other subjects including terrorism.”

The facilities were evacuated and shut down when the packages were discovered, causing disruption to government operations, the complaint said. No packages exploded or caused injuries, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Seattle said.

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