2 Incendiary Packages Cause Security Scare Across Md.

HANOVER, Md. (WJZ) –It was a tense afternoon across the region after two packages—one addressed to Gov. Martin O’Malley—ignited inside two state buildings.They showed up just 20 miles apart–one in Hanover, the other in Annapolis, just a few feet from the State House.

Kelly McPherson has more information about the note found in one of those packages.

The two packages were addressed to Governor O’Malley and the state transportation secretary. Now there’s an investigation into who may have sent these packages.

In Annapolis around 12:30 p.m. Thursday, a package addressed to Governor O’Malley ignited after an employee opened it.

“There was an initial flash of fire and smoke and a smell that emanated from that reaction,” said Greg Shipley, Maryland State Police spokesperson.

Fifteen minutes later and 20 miles away at the Maryland Department of Transportation, a similar package addressed to the Transportation Secretary was opened by an employee on the fourth floor, producing the same reaction.

“Only thing I heard was when the emergency alarm went off, and that was it,” said Mary Queen, MDOT employee.

“People started running, alarms were pulled. The building was very quickly cleared with a lot of people running out not grabbing purses and cell phones,” said Sharon Lewis, MDOT employee.

The packages– about the size of a small book– produced a smell like lighting a match. They were ignited with a zipper feature inside. They singed the employees’ fingers, but no one was seriously injured.

In Hanover, 250 people evacuated the building and waiting in airport transportation vehicles.

“It was kind of peaceful still because everybody knows the procedures here and everyone didn’t know exactly what was going on,” said a state employee.

Investigators are linking the two deliveries. Mailrooms across the state are still on guard though no other incendiary devices were found.

“This is not to be compared with a significant explosion that you think of when you say that word. I want to stress that,” Shipley said. “There was no property damage, and there was obviously no serious physical harm inflected on these employees.”

The governor’s office says that those two employees who handled the packages are doing OK.


Miike Hellgren takes a closer look at the investigation, including the possible motive.

This was in all likelihood an angry person who had a grudge against Maryland. The governor confirmed that it was someone who was upset about road signs and wanted to get the governor’s attention as well as that of top transportation officials.

Sources say the person who sent two incendiary packages was angry over electronic road signs, asking people to report suspicious activity.

A note inside one of the packages read: “Report suspicious activity . . . total bull**** . . . you have created a self-fulfilling prophecy. Signed, X.”

“In my opinion, this is a lone-wolf situation” said Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger. “Lone wolf meaning an individual with whatever reason has a problem with the state of Maryland.”

Inside was a match and battery rigged to light up when the package was opened.

“There was no fire; there was no explosion; there was no white powder,” said State Fire Marshal William Barnard.

Police do not believe the packages or the written message is linked to any terror group. But they do believe they are linked to each other. The same person sent packages to the governor and MDOT headquarters.

Because the packages didn’t destroy themselves, there’s still plenty of physical evidence.

“Terrorism really is not about winning the war, it’s about winning the battle, disruption,” Ruppersberger said. “So there was some disruption here. But we have to make sure that this was not a conspiracy and that hopefully it was a lone wolf, and we will be able to find this person and bring him to justice.”

These packages are currently at the FBI lab in Quantico, Va., where they are being analyzed.


Kai Jackson explains how Thursday’s incident set off a heightened state of alert across the region, including Baltimore City.

Maryland state offices were already on high alert when a third suspicious package was found at the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene at 201 West Preston Street in Baltimore—and then a fourth package at the Mitchell Courthouse on Calvert Street.

“The bomb squad is going to investigate the packages to determine what it really is,” said Anthony Guglielmi, Baltimore City Police spokesperson.

After two incendiary devices ignited in those two state buildings in Anne Arundel County, authorities in Baltimore decided to evacuate state employees on West Preston Street—a move that snarled rush-hour traffic in the area.

Authorities later determined that neither the third or fourth package was a threat.

“We tested the device and it turned out to be a delivery of laptop batteries which happens in offices across America multiple times a day,” Guglielmi said.

The package found at Mitchell Courthouse turned out to be a box of toner cartridges.

  • Mary

    I don’t see what the problem with the road signs is… I think it is important to remind and encourage people to report things that are ‘off’. It might just save a life!

    • FreedomForAll

      Mary, would you feel the same if you knew that Nazi Germany also asked their citizens to report on their neighbors? Do you really think a fascist state is the right direction for this country? Wake up!

    • Gina

      I bet you are falling for the wal-mart telescreens also. We don’t need a daily reminder to report criminal activity. We know how to police ourselves. We live a Nanny/police state. Wake up people!!!

    • Marbran

      These road signs do nothing but cause traffic delays, as many motorists feel compelled to slow down to read them. There is one on the DC beltway, inner loop, just before US 50, that consistently creates a back-up all the way to the 95/495 merge – about 5 miles. Bumper to bumper traffic for a useless message, and all because people are too stupid to read three lines before they pass under the sign. GET RID OF THE SIGNS!!!

    • TerryG

      Mary, You are a sick, uneducated fool. Run off now and play with Hitler.

      • Susan See

        It’s against the law to threaten any one TerryG, even on a board, so watch it.

      • Fred Marks

        Susan … TerryG did not threaten anyone. Go back and read the comment. However, you did say “Watch it,” which sounds like a under-the-radar threat to me.

        I will say that Mary is not sick. Just naive and doesn’t suspect the government or people of having ulterior motives. She might read the comments and see the possibilities, though.

    • Darin

      Pay for a radio ad – Don’t make people read sentences while they drive. They have enough to do with the cell phone, radio, texting, makeup and eating french fries. People slow by at least 15mph wherever these useless signs are.

    • Aunt Bee

      “Hell is paved with good Samaritans.”
      – William M. Holden


  • April

    America is going down hill fast. Wake up America and start caring about the country we have worked so hard to build. All we need is get back our values and dedication.

  • TJN72

    Wake me up when they hit the state house

  • Henry Thoreau

    I can’t say I’m concerned for Marxistland. Maybe they need more camera’s on every street so this doesn’t happen. Or higher taxes. Or mandatory rent increases. Or the Right to Not Keep and bear arms.

    So many reasons why I don’t care. You broke it. You bought it.

    • Thomas Jefferson

      Maybe they should put cameras in everyone’s house? That way they’ll be sure to catch all “suspicious activity”…

      • Bee

        Nah, telescreens are more effective.

      • Gary P

        You’d be surprised how much they can get from your cell phone even when it’s turned off. We soon may have TVs that watch you even when they’re turned off. Do some research on the web and you’ll be surprised at what some of the new technology contains. It’s Orwellian and personally I never thought it could ever happen here.

  • Gabe Asher

    Finally, someone is standing up against the dragnet against US citizens.

    • Bob

      Right on!

    • ElinAnn

      They are just subliminally communicating with their Gangstalking Crews. Like they need reminding. Like the bounties aren’t enough encouragement for them.

  • Donttyanize

    Fizzel flash-band packages? Maybe a good set of lead overshoes would be a better fit.

  • Steve Saulka

    Right on, Gabe Asher. That’s the drill in Obamastan.

  • Huckleberry Schmuckleberry

    I need to report suspicious activity at the White House… it seems an illegal alien has taken up residency and is impersonating a President.

  • Rico Suave


  • Ron

    Let’s get the TSA in here and have a pat-down search at every mailbox.

  • http://hammeroftruth.com/2011/is-this-suspicious-enough-for-you/ Is this suspicious enough for you? – Hammer of Truth

    […] MARYLAND SMOKE BOMBS: Retaliation over electronic road signs, asking people to report suspicious act… This entry was posted in link. Bookmark the permalink. […]

  • thoughtcriminal

    What a bunch of tools.

  • Bobo

    There are plenty of suspicious activities in the government! Report them at once! Round them up! Arrest them, interrogate them, waterboard them if necessary, and detain them indefinitely until we determine them to be not involved in suspicious activities in any way. The investigation would take a long time!

    Remember, God does not like snitches, brainwashed slaves and zealous fascist liberals.

  • d

    I think its a Bomb! Peter Sellers in The Pink Panther

    • e

      wouldn’t that be “Bom-buh” not “Bomb”?

  • JWC

    Come to NC and see our tax money at work. We have the billboard electronic signs that are always OFF or showing “Testing” but have the smaller mobile signs right next to them flashing worthless info such as “Testing” or “Dial 511 for Traffic Info”. Even the ones that work only show “Testing” or “Dial 511 for Traffic Info” . The gov’t contantly incourages not to use cell phones while driving, even made it illegal to do so but in the same turn ask us to dial 511 for info. Gov’t waste and stupidity.

  • emmajeri1010

    I suppose Mary votes, too. That’s what they’re counting on It’s a long one, but if you were to read The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by Shirer, you would have frighteningly detailed confirmation of FreedomForAll’s statement, “Mary, would you feel the same if you knew that Nazi Germany also asked their citizens to report on their neighbors?” Nazi German did not “happen” in a year or two: it was about 14 years from ideclared ntention to full implementation.

    • Susan See

      I suppose it’s too much to ask for you to express your opinion in a calm, rational, intelligent manner rather just just ranting and attacking someone else for their opinion.

      • CitizenSane

        Susan, what are you reacting to? I can’t see any “ranting” or “attacking” in emmajeri1010’s comment. The comment, in fact, seems entirely calm, rational and intelligent. Mentioning Nazi Germany in a sentence is not hysterical or abusive. Engage in the debate – but may I suggest that you don’t try to stifle opinions by name-calling.

      • HMichaelH

        Citizensane says it well. Susan See needs to look inward to discover why she reacts to stimulus that isn’t there. She has consistently reacted incorrectly to comments posted here. I’m glad others see her flaw. I hope she will see it, also.

  • ragu4u

    I hate to brag but I called this one only seconds after hearing the complete details. This was rookie stuff from the get go.

  • Sailordude

    As far as the message goes, two sides of every coin. They should say watch the Middle Easterners, but seriously, as far as the package is concerned, there is no return address, THAT’S A BIG RED FLAG PEOPLE!!!!

    Don’t open things with no return addresses on them, especially if you are with the government!

    • Opinionated Jerk

      And please tell me Sailordude, what forces someone to us an accurate and real return address? There is but one side to a Mobius strip. ID 10 t error detected.

      • Large Package

        Sailordude said there was no return address on the package. There are numerous signs that people in shipping departments should be trained to recognize that could signify a potentially suspicious package. No return address is one of them. Other things to look for are excessive postage, misspelled names, stained or leaking packages etc. So it looks like the ID10T error detected was actually you and your Mobius strip. ASS CLOWN.

      • Zaareconter

        Mobius Strip… Yes definitely an ass clown :)

        Well he did warn us that he was an opinionated jerk.
        He may work in the Q-section of
        FEMA’s basement.

  • geniusiq160

    Wow! There are a lot of posters here who show great motive in protesting the signs. That is alarming. I will be taking screen shots of your posts and sending them to the authorities, because at least one of you probably did it.

    Also, I find the signs to be useful. I have already reported one person I suspected. We have to stay aware and report crime, just as I am reporting you people advocating violence.

    • Thomas Jefferson

      I can’t tell if you’re being facetious or serious???!!! I am a critic of the “report suspicious activity” signs. Would you like my name an address? It is: Thomas Jefferson, 16 Pennsylvania Ave. Washington, District of Columbia.

      • DannnyJ119

        Me thinks Genius IQ 160 is a misnomer. He can’t even recall who lives at 1600 Pennsylvania..

      • geniusiq160

        Yes, I am serious, and, yes, I have taken a screenshot of your post. I’ll include your address, but I have to say that you’re pretty stupid to post your home address in the comments section. I know your name is probably fake, though.

        Get a life.

    • Opinionated Jerk

      Hey Genius, you really thing that is his home address? I think you mistakenly added a 1 before the other two real digits in your IQ. That is the address of the Capitol. I don’t care one way or the other about the signs. What the sender did is a crime. BTW – Thomas Jefferson is probably not his real name either…

      • Russ1449

        OJ,I think 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. is the White House.

    • Doug

      America needs more snitches… you’re lightning bolt pins are in the mail.

    • HamboneHaveYouHeard

      geniusiq160 is a brownshirt. I will be reporting him for a medal of commendation. Good job, boy!

  • James

    So a man is protesting the war on terrorism, with terrorism?


    • geniusiq160

      Exactly! The only explanation is that he supports our enemies or is mentally unstable OR BOTH.

  • Jim

    We have these signs in the Commonwealth of Mass, too. Occasionally the message is useful, but more often than not they say things like “Caution: Wet Conditions” when it’s raining or “Dial 511 for Traffic Information.” The first message invokes a response like, “Thank you, detective.” The latter message caused annoying traffic delays when it first started appearing, presumably because at first glance, it appeared to be describing an emergency.

    Are they annoying and useless signs? Usually, in my opinion. Is it worth getting angry about? Nah. The bureaucrats will continue nonsensical spending regardless of my emotional state.

    • geniusiq160

      You forget that these signs can say whether it is an orange alert or if there there is an amber alert and a child has been kidnapped, so they are pretty useful overall. I just don’t get people like you.

      • Sad American

        Do your research before you start talking on here cuz the gorvernment has been breaking constitutional laws everyday while Pelosi was speaker of the house. The democrats waste money, plain and simple.

      • Peoplelikeme

        when the revolution comes you’ll be first against the wall.

  • plain_truth

    As now, World Wars I and II were instigated by Wall Street and the German banking elite. Let the streets of Maryland flow with blood.

    • geniusiq160

      I’ve taken a screenshot of your comment and will be forwarding it to authorities. Have a nice day.

  • Danny L. Newton

    The care takers of the transportation system are aware of the problem of congestion but have no intention of fixing it. In my state, the rate of population growth doubles about every 66 years while the length of lane-miles is doubling every 360 years. If lane-miles do not grow then the average distance between cars and trucks declines and so does the safe speed limit. I expect these signs to some day be converted to variable speed limit signs to slow traffic down before the parking lot phenomenon presents itself. The Europeans already have a similar system.

  • RedHawk

    We must all support these actions if we are to ever take back our country and win our freedom. Thomas Jefferson said that the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. Now others must step up and begin a campaign agaist tyrannical governments, local, state, and federal.

  • maddog

    The comments are always far more interesting than the articles.

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