Package and Letter Bombs
Package and letter bombs are a common terrorist method to spread fear or gain publicity. Be aware of indicators that may help you identify a package or letter bomb and precautions you can take to avoid being victimized by such a device.
Receiving mail at home makes you a more interesting and accessible target. It is a good idea to never accept mail, especially packages, at your home in a foreign country. Make sure that your family members and any household staff know to refuse all unexpected mail at home. At your office, ensure that clerical staff is instructed on how to deal with unexpected or suspicious letters or packages.
A suspicious package or letter should not be touched and certainly never be moved. Report it to security officials immediately and keep people away from it. Any movement, especially cutting tape, strings, or other wrappings on a suspect package could cause an explosive device to detonate. Putting a suspect letter or package in water could also cause it to explode.
Because of who makes them and how they are made, some package and letter bombs can be recognized as suspicious -- are at least highly unusual. Here are a number of indicators to look for. After each indicator, in parentheses, is speculation as to why bombs often show such obvious indicators.