Suspicious package threat more common than realized, expert says

ST. LOUIS - When suspicious packages are sent to high ranking public officials they rarely, if ever, do physical harm. But, there are other issues to be concerned with.

Remy Cross, Professor at Webster University, says people send mail bombs and or suspicious devices to targets on a regular basis. Most high ranking public officials have security that goes through their mail.

“It tends to be most deadly, not with targets we saw today, not with high profile politicians, but with people who are less well known, who don’t have professional mail screeners,” said Cross.

Professor Cross says devices sent by individuals are almost always caught. We just don’t hear about them unless they’re local to our area.

“This happens far more than people are aware. There was a ricin attack a couple months ago that was sent to the Pentagon and White House,” Cross said.

Professor Cross adds that the profile of the sender tends to be white middle-aged males, former military. But this isn’t always the case. He says while the Obamas, Clintons and CNN didn’t suffer from the devices set, other damage is happening.

“They may not have injured anyone, but they've cost our government millions of dollars at this point, billions by the time its wrapped up,” said Cross.

Another scary reality is that it's cheap, no more than fifty bucks, and easy to send destructive devices and letters.

“It’s literally components you can purchase at a hardware store. The structure for it can be found on the internet,” Cross said.