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FBI: Suspicious package found in Northeast D.C. sent by man arrested in Seattle area

Thanh Cong Phan (Undated mugshot courtesy of Yolo County Sheriff's Office)

The FBI has confirmed a suspicious package that was under investigation Wednesday morning at a government mail facility in D.C. was sent by the same man arrested Monday evening in the Seattle area and accused of sending several packages to installations and government facilities throughout the D.C. area.

Thanh Cong Phan, 43, of Everett, Washington, has since been federally charged with shipping explosive materials, the FBI's Seattle office announced Wednesday afternoon.

Overall, a total of 12 packages were sent to 10 locations, according to the FBI. The government mail facility that received the suspicious package Wednesday morning is located at 3300 V Street, NE.

According to charging documents and the Department of Justice, the suspicious packages were received at several agencies, which included the U.S. Secret Service White House mail screening facility, the National Geospatial Agency, Fort Belvoir, Dahlgren Naval Base and the FBI headquarters.

Bomb technicians said three of those packages – including the one sent to FBI Headquarters in D.C. – contained a glass bottle with a substance that tested positive for Nitrocellulose, a black highly flammable powder "used as a low-explosive." Court documents state a written letter with various ramblings about neuropsychology, mind control and other subjects, including terrorism, was also included in at least one of the packages.

Other packages were collected and are still being analyzed at the FBI Laboratory at Quantico, Virginia.

The FBI says after analyses were run on the packages, one of them found at the National Defense University in Fort Lesley J. McNair in Southwest D.C. contained an explosive material.

That package reportedly tested positive for a black powder and residue and an X-ray indicated a suspected GPS and fuse were attached.

No packages have exploded or caused injuries, but according to a complaint it could have caused "significant injury."

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service traced the tracking information on one of the packages to the self-service kiosk at the Mill Creek, Washington post office, according to a court document. That's when Phan became a suspect in the case.

The complaint states surveillance video at the time of the mailing appeared to show Phan. Reports say writings contained in the package were also similar to those previously sent from Phan to a variety of government agencies and he reportedly had frequent contact with 911 dispatchers.

Phan was arrested without incident by FBI Seattle and the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office at his home in Everett, Washington, on Monday. He had his initial court appearance in the Western District of Washington at 2 p.m. PT Tuesday, according to the FBI.

The FBI says Phan was already known to them after he sent hundreds of letters and emails with incoherent ramblings to government agencies over the past few years. Local Washington state authorities know him too.

Over the past 3 to 4 months, Phan called 911 more than 100 times saying he was being controlled by high tech terrorists. KOMO, the ABC7 sister station in Seattle, obtained the calls.

“They read my mind and they read FBI mind … wireless. They have a cameras on the sky and they can see inside the house, but I cannot see the camera. They have virtual camera,” Phan said in one of the calls.

When he spoke with emergency dispatchers, Phan gave his name, phone number and address. In the calls ABC7 listened to, he did not make threats.

“This is something 911 does not understand. This is high tech terror and they control my body,” Phan said in another call.

Shipping of explosive material is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Here is a full list of all 10 locations where the packages were sent, according to the FBI:

  • Fort Belvoir, Virginia
  • Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Washington, D.C.
  • Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
  • Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Dahlgren, Virginia
  • Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Langley, Virginia
  • National Security Agency (NSA) Fort Meade, Maryland
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Washington, D.C.
  • Mark Center Building, Alexandria, Virignia
  • National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) Chantilly, Virginia
  • Government Mail Facility, 3300 V Street, NE, Washington, D.C.


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