Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Staff Warned after Letter Bomb Spree

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Staff Warned after Letter Bomb Spree

Article excerpt

Byline: By Neville Dean

The full extent of the letter bombing campaign became clear last night as police revealed details of seven linked attacks in the last three weeks.

Homemade pyrotechnic-style bombs in A5 jiffy bags have been posted to seven different businesses across Britain since January 18 ( six of which supply services or technology to law enforcement agencies.

Three were sent to forensic laboratories in Oxfordshire and the West Midlands area last month and another three to traffic enforcement companies in London, Berkshire and South Wales this week.

The other was sent to a house used as a business address in Folkestone, Kent, on Saturday.

At least nine people have been injured in the blasts.

It is understood that at least two of the devices contained glass. One contained a piece of metal that could have been a nail.

Detectives believe there is some kind of link between all devices, although they cannot say yet whether just one group or individual is behind the campaign of letter bomb terror. There have been no threats, no ransom demands and no claim of responsibility for the attacks.

Each device was apparently targeted at the business, as none have featured the name of a specific individual.

The police's National Co-ordinator for Domestic Extremism said both animal rights activism and the possibility of a grudge-holding motorist were being examined as "priority lines of inquiry."

Assistant Chief Constable Anton Setchell issued a warning to office workers across the country to be careful when handling mail and urged people to report any suspicious packages to the police immediately.

The intention of the bombs was clearly to cause shock and fear, he said.

However, council leaders warned that someone could be seriously injured or killed if the bomber is not caught soon.

Prime Minister Tony Blair and Home Secretary John Reid both publicly expressed their concern over the bombings yesterday in the wake of the latest blast at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).

At a press conference last night, Mr Setchell said: "The investigation into each package that has been received has been linked from the outset. …

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