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Seattle-Area Man Arrested in Mailing 'Potential Destructive' Packages to D.C. Installations

Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, enters with the official party at the start of the 2016 National Defense University graduation ceremonies at Fort McNair in Washington on June 9, 2016. (DoD photo by Jim Garamone)

WASHINGTON — The FBI has taken a Seattle-area man into custody in connection with five packages containing possibly “destructive devices” that were sent to sensitive military and intelligence installations in and near D.C.

Thanh Cong Phan, 43, of Everett, Wash., was arrested at his home Monday and was scheduled to make his first court appearance this afternoon.

Packages were received Monday at Fort Belvoir, Va., Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Washington, D.C., Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C., the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) in Dahlgren, Va., and the Central Intelligence Agency at Langley, Va.

The packages are being analyzed at the FBI lab in Quantico, Va.; initial investigation “determined that the packages contained potential destructive devices and appeared to be sent by the same individual from the Seattle, Washington, area.” Officials said there was no apparent link to terrorism.

“The joint investigation with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service continues at this time. It is possible that further packages were mailed to additional mail processing facilities in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. The FBI takes all suspicious packages seriously and has been coordinating with our local, state, and federal partners on established protocols of how to handle suspicious packages,” the FBI’s Washington field office said. “The FBI continues to advise the public to remain vigilant and not touch, move, or handle any suspicious or unknown packages.”

NBC cited sources as saying a dozen packages were mailed to military and government addresses in the D.C. area, including the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and the Secret Service.

The packages reportedly were accompanied by “rambling and disturbing” notes, and while at least two contained explosive material they apparently weren’t functioning explosive devices.