Randall C. Till, Inspector in Charge, Fort Worth Division, U.S Postal Inspection Service, and Robert E. Casey Jr., Special Agent in Charge, Dallas, FBI, announce a reward of up to $100,000 for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of the person(s) responsible for the recent mailings of letters containing white powder in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
Beginning August 5, 2010, a series of white powder letters have been received at churches, mosques, and businesses in the North Texas area. Letters have been sent to the following North Texas communities: Allen, Arlington, Carrollton, Dallas, De Soto, Fort Worth, Garland, Grand Prairie, Irving, McKinney, and Richardson.
The white powdery substance has been field screened by either Postal Inspectors or local Hazardous Material (HAZMAT) Teams and these tests have met with negative results. The substance is not toxic. The white powdery substance has been forwarded to local laboratories for further analysis.
To date, all of the white powder letters have been postmarked from North Texas, leading investigators to believe the person(s) responsible may live in the North Texas area.
In addition to the white powder letters received in the North Texas area, additional letters have been received in Austin, Texas; Chicago, Illinois; Lubbock, Texas; and Waltham, Massachusetts. These letters are similar in postmark and content to the letters received in North Texas.
Investigation has also determined the recent white powder letters are similar in postmark and content to the letters sent to U.S. Embassies and U.S. governors’ offices in December, 2008.
All letters have referenced al Qaeda, but the meaning of the message is unknown. The sender(s) appears to be committed to getting their message out, but has not clearly articulated what the message may be.
Although mail is screened for toxic substances prior to delivery, the public is reminded to take the following precautions should they receive mail with a powdery substance in it.
1. Leave the immediate area where the powder was spilled. Do not attempt to clean up the powder. Isolate the area where the spill has occurred.
2. Wash hands immediately.
3. Call 911 and advised them of the receipt of the mailing.
4. Remember, all instances of white powder in this matter have tested negative for a toxic substance.
Anyone with information concerning these letters should contact the Dallas FBI Office at 972-559-5000 or the Fort Worth U.S. Postal Inspection Service at 817-359-2719.