Russian threatening with terrorism against American diplomats detained in St.Petersburg

A Russian threatening with terrorist acts against American diplomats has been detained in St.Petersburg, the public relations centre of the Russian Security Service (FSB) disclosed.

"In March 2002 the United States' Consul General made an official statement to the FSB board for the Sverdlovsk region (Russia's Ural federal district)," the centre says in the communiquй. "He reported the American embassies in The Hague, Vienna and Berlin received letters containing threats to stage acts of terrorism against officials of the American diplomatic missions in Moscow and Yekaterinburg." The letters contained alien powder-like enclosures, the centre continues.

Operative search has identified the sender - a 38-year-old resident of Tomsk (the administrative centre of the Siberian federal district), who was later detained in St.Petersburg.

The FSB officers established that in February-March 2002 at least twelve letters were sent to the American and Canadian embassies in Austria, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and the Czech Republic from the Sverdlovsk, Tomsk, Novosibirsk regions and the Krasnodar Territory. These letters threatened with bacteriological attacks against American and Canadian nationals. A criminal case has been initiated on article 205 of the Russian Criminal Code for terrorism.

"All these letters contained the only demand to the governments of the United States and Canada - punish the Canadian swindlers, whose victim the mail terrorist has become," the FSB centre says.

The information contained in the letters on the senders, allegedly residents of Tomsk and Yekaterinburg, has proved to be invented. The FSB experts have established that the powder enclosed presented no threat and the author and the sender of the letters was the only and the same person, who was later detained.

The FSB public relations centre has not cited his name but said that the man has a criminal record and has of later been actively moving in the territory of Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States with forged documents.

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