Police investigate series of radioactive letters as terrorism

Five letters contained higher than usual amounts of radioactive activity.

Police Corps President Tibor GašparPolice Corps President Tibor Gašpar (Source: Sme)

The police are investigating a series of five suspicious letters delivered to certain courts, Justice Ministry and a police directorate that have been categorised as act of terrorism and illegal possession of radioactive materials.

The incident is being investigated because at least three of the letters contained radioactive substances, Police Corps president Tibor Gašpar announced on November 25, as quoted by the TASR newswire.

The first suspicious letter was delivered to the District Court in Poprad (Prešov Region) on November 7. Another one went to the District Court in Považská Bystrica (Trenčín Region) on November 8.

One letter each was received by the Justice Ministry and the District Court in Kežmarok (Prešov Region) each, on November 24, while another one arrived at the Prešov police directorate on November 23.

The case is being investigated by the National Crime Agency (NAKA) as an act of terrorism and illegal possession of radioactive materials. “We perceive it as absolutely serious case, as the issue could escalate,” said Gašpar, according to TASR. “Nonetheless, this isn’t a nuclear attack, as reported by some media outlets.” He added that external radiation from the letters examined so far was not dangerous.

The letter delivered to the Justice Ministry contained trace contamination with Americium-241, with amounts of external radiation reaching three to four times the normal level, but still far below any dangerous intensity. The substance can be dangerous if inhaled or consumed, however.

All the letters were sent from eastern Slovakia. Gašpar declined to comment on their further content, merely stating that they contained messages regarding the sender’s general dissatisfaction, which was not directed against anyone in particular.

The letters were sent by a man from eastern Slovakia who is seeking revenge for a lost court case, the Prvada daily wrote, without offering more information on the attack. The perpetrator(s), if convicted, could even get a life sentence.

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