WASHINGTON (Sep. 20)
The State Department said today that its officials have been in touch with the American Postal Service to tighten security on the possible use of mail for terrorist purposes. Charles Bray, Department spokesman, said in response to questions that the contact with the postal service was made in the last 24-48 hours. Asked if this was prompted by the booby-trapped letter in the London Israel Embassy that killed one diplomat and injured another, Bray said that was true “in effect.”
He declined to say how the postal services will conduct their security operations or whether the security checks would be limited only to parcels mailed to the United States from abroad, citing security measures as the reason for not disclosing what steps are being taken. Bray also said that instructions have been issued to US diplomatic missions abroad to tighten security. He declined to say if these missions were in the Mideast or in other areas.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for the office of security of the Postal Service said that “some action was taken this morning.” In New York City postal authorities seized three envelopes that reportedly contained potential explosive devices earmarked for three Israeli diplomats: Yosef Tekoah, Ambassador to the UN, Jacob Barmore, Ambassador, and Uri Gordon, Minister Plenipotentiary.
At the Israel Embassy in Washington, a program has been put into effect to “improve the screening of mail and all necessary steps have been taken to prevent any mistakes in opening a suspicious letter or parcel.”