Sharpton, Olbermann, Fox reporter targets of white powder con
The FBI recently contacted the Rev. Al Sharpton's National Action Network, the New York Daily News, and several other groups to let them know they might be receiving letters containing a suspicious but harmless white powder.
The FBI itself had received the first of the letters at its Albany office on Monday and were easily able to identify the sender as an inmate in a New York prison because he included his inmate number in the return address. FBI officials then warned other potential recipients as a precautionary measure.
According to the Daily News, the list included "MSNBC commentator Keith Olbermann, Fox 5 reporter Mary Garofalo, CBS' '60 Minutes,' the Brooklyn Daily Eagle newspaper, the Post Star newspaper in Glens Falls, the New York State Bar Association, Brooklyn state Sen. Velmanette Montgomery, the Prisoners Rights Project of the Legal Aid Society in Albany and the Center for Law and Justice Inc. in Albany."
However, there was no explanation as to why the jailed robber selected those particular targets or how the powder-packed letters were able to slip past prison authorities.
One year ago, as RAW STORY reported, Olbermann was sent "fake anthrax" by a California man, who was said to be an acolyte of conservative pundits such as Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin. A Fox News-owned tabloid, The New York Post, later mocked the "caustic commentator" for insisting on being checked out by a hospital after being 'dosed' with what a NYPD HazMat unit had already concluded was a "harmless soap powder." In 2001, the Post was sent an anthrax-filled letter by an unknown person, still at large, who had targeted two Democratic senators, and ending up infecting at least 22 people, killing five.
Sharpton, who often receives threats and racist communications, was described as "extremely concerned" by a spokesperson. "It's a reminder, a sad reminder, that civil rights, you're always going to be facing threats and even in this day and age you always need to be on your guard," a representative of his group told the Associated Press.
The inmate, Keith Lettley, describes himself on a prison pen pal website as "mature, grounded, open-minded, self motivated, focused,
loving, caring, aggressive when need be, concerned, fair and supportive. ... My hobbies are designing clothes, studying law, welding, playing
sports, reading, writing, lisenting to all types of music, lifting weights and enjoying life."
This video is from The Associated Press, broadcast on November 21.