In its continuing series on the US Patriot Act, the Newark Star-Ledger details the use of the federal law in connection with a mysterious letter mailed to Atlantic City casinos in 2002. Identical letters postmarked Columbus, Ohio, were sent to each of the casinos. The unsigned, typed message inside began: “I AM PROVIDING THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION BECAUSE I AM CONCERNED ABOUT THE SAFETY AND SECURITY OF THE PEOPLE WHO COME TO YOUR CASINO.”
The author claimed to have overheard a group of men discussing a plot to release chemical and biological agents into the air-conditioning vents at a casino. The tipster asked for a “reward” of $20,000. The letter listed a bank account number and an e-mail address and demanded an immediate reply. It ended: “P.S. PLEASE DO NOT GIVE MY INFORMATION TO ANYONE INCLUDING LAW ENFORCEMENT.” The Star-Ledger story unravels the mystery.