(U//FOUO) DHS-FBI Terrorist Exploitation of Postal and Commercial Shipping Companies


  • 3 pages
  • For Official Use Only
  • October 31, 2010


(U//FOUO) Terrorists remain interested in exploiting postal and commercial shipping companies to conduct or support attacks in the United States. Publicity surrounding the more than 40,000 incidents involving unknown or suspicious substances related to the U.S. Mail since 2001 likely reinforces violent extremists’ belief that the postal sector is a useful mechanism for conducting an attack, as it demonstrates that mail containing potentially harmful substances can be delivered without arousing suspicion or being discovered until the recipient opens the letter or package.

(U//FOUO) Packages and envelopes containing suspicious substances may have characteristics that can alert handlers or recipients to the potential danger. Knowledge of the following indicators is recommended for all mail facility personnel and first responders who may come in contact with suspicious letters and packages:

(U) Recommended steps for handling suspicious packages and envelopes include the following:
— (U) Do not open. Do not shake or empty the contents. If opened, do not allow unqualified or unauthorized individuals to examine the item.
— (U) Alert others in the area, close any doors, and take actions to prevent others from entering the area. If possible, shut off the ventilation system.
— (U) At work, notify a supervisor, security officer, or law enforcement official; if at home, contact the local law enforcement agency.

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