CHICAGO

Osama Bin Laden In Chicago? Letter Threatens Nuclear Bombs Around US

If a recently mailed letter is to be believed, Al Qaida leader and September 11 mastermind Osama bin Laden is hiding not in some dank cave in the Afghan-Pakistani borderlands, but in the glittering metropolis of Chicago, Illinois.

Twenty-five copies of the letter, which was ostensibly penned by bin Laden, were sent to Chicagoans and recipients around the country, according to the suburan Daily Herald. The letter says that 160 nuclear bombs are planted "in schools, stadiums, churches, stores, financial institutions, and Govt. bldgs," and will be detonated unless certain people responsible for war crimes face trial. The postmark indicates that the letters were sent from Chicago.

But the FBI is fairly confident the letters are a hoax.

“There are several demands documented that aren’t fully coherent," FBI Special Agent Andre Zavala of the Bureau's Chicago office told CBS. He plans to investigate the documents seriously nevertheless.

One possible giveaway, aside from the Chicago postmark of the letters: the writer demands that the war crimes trials be held "American Idol style," televised live, with viewers able to vote on guilt or innocence, according to FOX Chicago. An "Idol" reference in a letter from bin Laden would be unexpected, to say the least.

Even if the writer isn't Osama, he or she will face some serious punishment if found. A UPI report says that mailing such threats could get the writer five to 10 years in prison for each letter sent.

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