An anonymous letter carrying vague threats against New York investment firm Goldman Sachs has turned up in the offices of additional newsrooms around the country, but federal investigators yesterday said they do not consider the threats to be credible.
The letters, all neatly hand-written in red ink on blue-lined loose-leaf paper, were sent to as many as 20 newspapers across the country this past week, including The Star-Ledger.
"We're working it closely with the postal inspectors," said Bill Carter, an FBI spokesman in Washington, D.C. "I doubt you'll see any credibility to it, but you have to check it out. You can't ignore it in today's world."
The letters, apparently all mailed from Queens, were sent to newspapers in Texas, Indiana, Tennessee, Idaho, Washington state and elsewhere. The Star-Ledger received one on Wednesday that was postmarked June 27. It was sent in a plain business envelope and addressed to the News Department. The single-sheet letter said only: "Goldman Sachs. Hundreds will die. We are inside. You cannot stop us."
It is signed: "A.Q.U.S.A."
The letter, opened by a newsroom clerk, was brought it to the attention of Managing Editor Kevin Whitmer, who called the FBI. Federal agents retrieved the letter and a story appeared in yesterday's editions.
Jim Chapman, assistant metro editor of the Journal Gazette in Fort Wayne, Ind., said his newspaper received one of the letters, postmarked Queens on July 2, and immediately turned it over to the FBI.
The letters are being analyzed by FBI and U.S. Postal inspectors at the FBI crime lab in Washington, D.C., and at the Postal Service lab in Dulles, Va. It is a federal offense to send threats through the U.S. mail.
Goldman Sachs, with headquarters in New York, maintains offices in London, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Hong Kong and other major financial centers. More than 3,000 of its employees work in a 44-story office tower on the waterfront in Jersey City - the tallest building in New Jersey.
Michael DuVally, a spokesman for Goldman Sachs, said the investment firm was working closely with law enforcement authorities.
"We take any threat to the safety to our people seriously," DuVally said. "We have a broad range of security measures in place to counter all likely threats, and we're monitoring the situation closely."
Goldman Sachs did not receive the letter.
Star-Ledger wire services contributed to this report.