Explosives Sent to FedEx, RDU International
Posted April 21, 1998
MORRISVILLE — Two letters containing small amounts of a powerful explosive were mailed to a Federal Express office in Raleigh and the director of Raleigh-Durham International Airport.
The letters were received as FedEx was considering whether it would build a hub at the airport.
Law enforcement officials say the envelopes contained C-4, a military-type of explosive. While neither envelope contained a detonating device, each delivered a message that this scare tactic was no joke.
The letters were delivered in late February to John Brantley, RDU International airport's director and to a Raleigh FedEx office. The letter said that if FedEx set up shop at RDU, local FedEx people and others would be killed.
Neither FedEx nor Brantley will discuss the letters, but notes dated March 2, 1998, taken during a discussion between the state and FedEx regarding the location of the company's new hub, indicate that something did happen. That reference to the letters was contained in previously confidential Department of Commerce files.
The notes indicate that a FedEx representative listed bombs sent to Raleigh on a list of what appeared to be reasons for FedEx not to choose Raleigh for it's hub location.
Citizens for Balanced Growth, a Cary organization that did not take a position on the hub while others protested the possibility, has a web site that provided a public forum on the FedEx debate.
Gary Hutchison, the group's co-founder says bomb threats are not the way one gets one's message out.
Local law enforcement says the FBI is handling this case.
Tony Ferguson of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms says the explosives posed no risk because there was no detonating device. Still, law enforcement officers say the letters contained death threats.
FedEx picked Piedmont Triad International Airport as the site for its 300 million-dollar hub.