Suspicious packages sent to DC-area military bases
Law enforcement is looking at more than 5 locations, and the FBI is 1 suspect in the visor. Luke Tomlinson reports from the Pentagon.
A man was Tuesday arrested in connection with the series of packages with explosive material found on military bases in the greater Washington, D. C., area, one law enforcement official told Fox News.
The FBI said Thanh Cong Phan, 43, was taken into custody at his home in Everett, Washington, on Monday night.
In a six-minute hearing Tuesday, Judge James Donohue set a preliminary hearing for April 10, and a detention hearing for March 30. He faces 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Phan only said two words, “Yes, sir,” when asked if a
financial affidavit he filled was correct.
The defendant, Thanh Cong, Phan, faced a judge Tuesday.
No possible motive was immediately disclosed. Law enforcement officials described him as emotionally disturbed, and no stranger to the federal and local authorities. He had written to many government agencies in the past, including the members of Congress.
Officials previously said they were looking for more than five locations in the area where the packets were received, such as the White House and CIA mail facilities located on Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, officials told Fox News. Researchers have said more packages could still be out there.
“In principle there is a fixed procedure, [workers] went through the procedure, the” Minister of Defense of Jim Mattis told reporters.
On Monday, three military bases confirmed receiving packages containing explosive substances, but all of the packages were discovered before they can be opened.
The items were located at Fort Lesley J. McNair in Washington, Fort Belvoir in Fairfax, Va. and the Dahlgren Naval Surface Warfare Center and is about an hour south of the capital of the country.
“It is possible that even more packets are sent to additional mail processing facilities in the metropolitan area of Washington, D. C.,” the FBI said in a statement Tuesday, adding a joint research with the U. S. Postal Inspection Service is ongoing.
Officials said that black powder was discovered in at least one package together with a fuse, but it was neutralized by the FBI. Several threatening letters were also discovered.
All packages are analyzed in the FBI forensics lab in Quantico.
Last month, a suspicious package was sent to Fort Myer near the Pentagon, but no hazardous material was found.
The current scare comes in the wake of the Austin package bombings that left two dead and several injured. The bomber, 23-year-old Mark Anthony Conditt, died after detonating an explosive during a confrontation with the police.
Military bases in the U.S. are also more and more victims.
Last week, a 51-year-old man drove a burning truck filled with propane tanks and gasoline at Travis Air Force base is an hour’s drive of San Francisco. He was identified as Hafiz Kazi. Law enforcement officials described the incident as possible terrorism. Authorities extracted a video from one of the attacker’s three mobile phones and the analyzing of the search for a motive.
Fox News’ Robert Shaffer in Seattle contributed to this report.
Luke Tomlinson is the Pentagon and the State Department producer Fox News Channel. You can follow him on Twitter: @LucasFoxNews