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Saturday
Jan082011

Package Ignites in DC: Homeland Security Chief Targeted

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- A package addressed to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano ignited Friday at a Washington, D.C. postal facility. The package looked "similar" to the book-sized envelopes that detonated in Maryland on Thursday, officials said, but it was not immediately clear whether the incidents were related and whether the same person sent all three packages.

DC Metro Police Chief Cathy Lanier said "there was popping, smoking, a brief flash of fire and then it extinguished itself."  No injuries were reported and the building was evacuated as a precautionary measure.  U.S. postal service spokeswoman Irene Lericos said that the building is an annex that handles U.S. government mail.

On Thursday, a pair of incendiary devices in small packages, including one addressed to the governor of Maryland, erupted within hours of each other inside two government office buildings in Maryland. The detonations injured two people but there were no major injuries. Those devices -- similar in construction to ones recently mailed to embassies in Rome and in Greece -- were described by one official as "terror vandalism," that are "intended to scare, and hurt you a bit, but not kill." Officials described them as powered by a small battery linked to an electric match and a switch.  A message linked to the devices suggested they were sent by someone who was angry with the government's terror warnings, sources told ABC News.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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