Anthrax lessons used in pipe bomb case

By Angela Greiling Keane

WASHINGTON -- A U.S. Postal Service official said Tuesday that the agency applied lessons it learned during last year's anthrax mailings to solve this spring's string of pipe bombings.

Pine Island native Luke Helder was arrested in connection with placing the bombs four days after the first bombs were found. He is being held in jail in Iowa. He has pled not guilty. He is awaiting trail, which is set to begin Nov. 18.

"Fortunately, this case was solved in five days," Postal Service Deputy Chief Inspector James Rowan told the Postal Service Board of Governors at its monthly meeting Tuesday. "We found the keys to a successful solution."


He said the Postal Service worked hard to communicate with affected customers and to keep the media abreast of what had happened, two lessons learned during the anthrax attacks.

The perpetrator or perpetrators of the anthrax mailings have not been caught.

Rowan said the Postal Service worked closely with the FBI during the pipe bomb investigation. He said the FBI advised to not "dehumanize the suspect or to give him a name such as the Unabomber."

"They thought that tactic could incite the suspect," Rowan said.

Before finding Helder in Nevada, FBI behavioral scientists determined he was slowing down his efforts because the last devices that were found in mailboxes were not designed to detonate upon the boxes' opening as the first bombs planted had.

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