How to Identify a Letter Bomb

A well known method of attack, which has become ever more common recently, is letter bombing. Bombs, disguised as letters are posted through letter boxes, and when opened explode, seriously injuring or killing the victim. Follow these steps, to make sure you never get caught out.


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    Note large packages. Letter bombs can be small, but flat, thin envelopes are very unlikely to contain them.
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    Check the company at the return address. If they do not exist be very wary. Try searching for reviews on the companies services to make sure they are legit. Be aware that companies will almost never hand write addresses, and will usually (although not always) use pre-pay stamps.
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    Watch out for large amounts of stamps. As said above, pre-pay stamps usually are a good sign, while many smaller stamps could be a cause for concern.
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    Inspect the parcel for lumps or unusual bulges. Letter bombs are usually bulky, and can be of an irregular shape, with many protrusions. When inspecting, never apply pressure to the parcel, or push down on any lumps or bumps, as this could trigger an explosion.
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    Check how the package is secured. Most companies do not use string, but secure boxes, or neatly applied tape. String is a sign of poor packaging, and maybe someone who does not have the equipment to professionally package a parcel.
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    Look for any openings and tears in the package. If there is an opening, take a look to see whether you can see wires, or any other suspicious items.
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    Take note of stains, especially oil marks. If there are any fingerprints of oil, or oil soaking through the package then immediately move away, or place the item safely outside. This is the same with protruding wires.
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    If you have clearly identified the item as a bomb, or can confirm it is dangerous, call emergency services and report it.


  • Make a point of smelling the parcel, some explosives have a distinctive aroma, sometimes of almonds.
  • If you are especially worried about attack, you may buy metal detectors or X-Ray devices to help you carry out the above steps.
  • If it has incorrect spelling, address is poorly typed, address has an incorrect title or uses only your title and no name, it may be a letter bomb.


  • Some letter bombs are well disguised, so please be careful with ALL parcels.

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Categories: Bombs