Docstoc

Intelligence watchers note the dangers of letter and parcel bombs

Document Sample
Intelligence watchers note the dangers of letter and parcel bombs Powered By Docstoc
					SURPRISE MAIL
I
t’s the easiest and cheapest way to deliver a bomb or deadly substance to an individual - though hardly the most effective. During its journey a multitude of things can happen to a package that results in it not reaching its destination. Yet despite spectacular advances in mail security and screening, the odd item will get through. However, the sender will always be uncertain, and furthermore, once the item is discovered, forensic tests can take place on its content, outer-packaging. Details from whence it came and when it was posted may emerge. Eye Spy has learned that terrorists are again examining the ‘route one’ method to deliver their deadly message. Sadly, it’s likely those working in the delivery system are more vulnerable than the intended receiver. But there are actions and procedures than can lessen the risk. Parcel and letter bombs, anthrax-laced envelopes and other devices have caused mayhem in the past few years. Letter bombs may be explosive or incendiary (the two most likely kinds), or conceivably chemical, biological or radiological. People have lost fingers, limbs, eye sight and some have even paid the ultimate price for not recognising a suspicious package. Furthermore, items laced with anthrax have come apart in postal machinery and innocent workers have been killed. Since the deadly anthrax attacks in Washington DC and elsewhere in the USA that followed 9/11, huge efforts have been put in place to alert workers to the dangers in sorting offices. Devices and ‘sniffer’ machines are 99% successful in identifying such materials, but there are always going to be instances where dangerous packages get through to their intended location. Similarly, courier firms are now numerous - and not all have the same type of security that organisations like the Royal

LETTER BOMBS AND RISK ASSESSMENT
Eye Spy looks at what should and should not be done when a suspicious package or letter arrives on your door step....
Mail or US Postal Service deploy. Of additional interest, unless the package is delivered by courier, a letter bomb is unlikely to contain a timing device. So, do you know the warning signs of a potentially dangerous letter or package? And what to do if you come across one? These questions were recently raised by the security services endeavouring to advise not only postal workers, but employees of firms and individuals who are often the first to open mail - and this also includes ordinary members of the public - mail sometimes gets delivered to the wrong address. In recent years major government poster campaigns warning of terrorism, cyber terrorism, espionage, and general safety, including what to do in the event of a serious biological incident, have become more and more prominent. Spread across London, New York and other major cities it’s not uncommon to see security service posters request the

Intelligence watchers note the dangers of letter and parcel bombs
public come forward if they observe anything suspicious. Connected to a recent security campaign in London, Scotland Yard produced a clever arrangement of posters giving clues to what the public should look out for - be it unusual activity at a storage lock-up, or bizarre behaviour from persons. At virtually every major transit point in Europe or North America, the public will come across posters and guidance that warn to be fully alert and report unusual items or suspicious activity. The posters are produced for no other reason than to help defend against the growing menace of terrorism and for personal safety. The scale of the threat is such that in September 2006, Sir Ian Blair, Scotland Yard’s most senior police officer said: “In all my years in the force, I have

42

E Y E

S P Y

I S S U E

4 4,

2 0 0 6

E Y E

S P Y

I S S U E

4 4,

2 0 0 6

43


				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Stats:
views:15
posted:1/22/2010
language:English
pages:1
Description: Intelligence watchers note the dangers of letter and parcel bombs