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Arrest Made in Package Blast

May 15, 2002

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ A man arrested Wednesday for allegedly threatening to use explosive devices is also suspected of planting an explosive package in a mailbox with a note that read ``Free Palestine now,″ federal authorities said.

The man, who was not identified, was taken into custody as police were investigating piles of trash dumped in one of his neighbor’s yards. Authorities said that among the trash was a box containing a note that resembled one left Monday in the Postal Service mailbox.

FBI Special Agent Rosanne Russo would not elaborate on the charges.

The mailbox parcel _ a foam box packed with nails and an explosive charge _ detonated Monday when a police bomb squad shot the package with a water cannon. No one was injured.

The package was found by a letter carrier; it was not addressed and bore no postage. The note with it also mentioned the al-Qaida terrorist network.

On Tuesday, the bomb squad was called after someone placed a pair of sneakers inside a mailbox outside a synagogue, along with a note that also mentioned Palestine.

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