Texas man arrested in connection with white powder letter hoaxes

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The FBI arrested the man it believes sent out hundreds of letters than contained a suspicious white powder.

On the eve of the 2014 Super Bowl, hotels near New Jersey's MetLife Stadium received threatening letters filled with white powder.

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Econo Lodge manager Eylem Naik
CBS News
Econo Lodge manager Eylem Naik opened one of them.

"Powder just came out of the envelope. And I was a little bit suspicious and a little bit worried at the same time."

The FBI had seen the same threat many times before. Since 2008, more than 500 nearly identical white powder envelopes had been sent to schools, businesses and government offices across 48 states and the District of Columbia.

The mailings, also sent to U.S. embassies around the world, frequently contained the same disjointed rant.

"Al Qaeda back!," the letters warned. "Special thing for you ... What the hell, where are you Scooby Doo, Internal Affairs, FBI..."

None of the letters contained any actual toxins, but all shared a common link. They were mailed from the area around Dallas, Texas.

That's where the FBI arrested Hong Minh Truong on Monday.

Newly released court papers say evidence collected from Truong's computer and trash link him to the hoax mailings. Also, a motive might be found in police records revealing Truong has had a long running grievance with federal law enforcement.

In 2002, Truong told police he hears voices in his head. He claimed the FBI, DEA, ATF and police are after him and beaming radar into his body.

Truong is being held on a charge of sending hoaxes through the mail. Nobody was hurt by any of the mailings, but first responders spent thousands of man hours and likely millions of dollars reacting to the potential threats.

  • Bob Orr

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