A Chicago man was charged with mailing fake nuclear bomb threats all around the country and signing them “Osama Bin Laden,” according to federal officials.
Timothy P. O’Donnell was charged with nine counts of falsely threatening the use of explosives, in an indictment handed down by a federal grand jury on Thursday.
According to a press release from the FBI, between March 18th and 22nd of 2011, O’Donnell allegedly sent dozens of letters — all with the same wording — from Chicago to recipients in 16 different states. The letters were sent to two businesses also in Chicago, as well as locations in Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Pennsylvania and Tennessee.
O’Donnell also allegedly signed the letters “Osama Bin Laden,” and in them claimed that “Al-Qaeda” had put “160 remotely-controlled nuclear bombs throughout the country in schools, churches, hospitals, financial institutions, and government buildings,” the release says.
“While there was never any real danger in Chicago or elsewhere, these charges demonstrate that the FBI and the Chicago Joint Terrorism Task Force will aggressively investigate all threats and there are serious consequences for those who allegedly make false threats,” said Robert Grant, a special agent in the Chicago office of the FBI.
If convicted, O’Donnell faces a maximum sentence of 10 years and a $250,000 fine for each count.