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FBI investigates threat against alcohol beverage producers and advertisers.

The FBI is investigating an anonymous letter threatening violence against alcoholic beverage producers and broadcasters that air commercials for them.

"While the FBI cannot immediately assess the credibility of this threat, public safety is the foremost concern," the FBI said in a statement Friday. "An investigation is under way."

Under longstanding policy, "the FBI is alerting those potentially affected by the threat: the broadcast media organizations and the trade associations that represent beer and alcoholic beverage producers." The bureau also shared its information with the Federal Communications Commission and state and local law enforcement.

The FBI released a copy of the letter which said, "Hundreds of children die every year because of accidents involving alcohol. The broadcast industry is mostly to blame for this."

Referring specifically to ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, CNN, Turner, Time-Warner, which own broadcast facilities, and generally to "any radio or TV station that broadcasts an alcohol commercial or mentions a brewery sponsor during sporting events," the letter said transmitters and towers would be targeted for explosives.

The letter added that breweries and other alcoholic beverage production sites "will be destroyed by explosives" and tracks with company logos "will be fired upon."

"The destruction of lives at the breweries will be much smaller than the destruction of the lives of children killed every year ... because of the ... message the commercial is sending," the letter said.

The National Association of Broadcasters also alerted some 1,000 TV stations and 11,000 radio stations Friday about the threat so they could take whatever preventive measures they choose.

Justice Department spokesman Carl Stern said the letter, addressed "Attention FBI," was received by the FBI in Ohio.

Editor's Note: Modern Brewery Age elected not to publish the letter in question. Subscribers desiring a copy of the letter can call our offices, and we'll fax a copy. Call (203) 853-6015, ext. 131.
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Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Date:May 13, 1996
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