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PANTAGRAPH STAFF

BLOOMINGTON - A threatening letter sent to a Bloomington restaurant was one of several dozen sent to chain members nationwide, and the timeframe for the attack mentioned in the letters has since expired, an FBI official said.

Special Agent Jon Cauthen of the FBI's Sacramento field office said it seems letters sent to Hooters restaurants, including one on Hershey Road in Bloomington, originated from northern California. A domestic terrorism squad with the FBI's joint terrorism task force is still investigating the letters, he said.

"We have lots of leads, it's ongoing and we're aggressively working on it," Cauthen said.

Mailing the threatening letters in interstate commerce is a federal crime, Cauthen said, and his office has previously tracked down people for prosecution in similar cases. He said the case is not unusual, and his field office alone is working on many cases with similar circumstances.

"I would say we open a case of that nature here in Sacramento on, probably, a monthly basis," Cauthen said.

Cauthen said he did not know the motivation behind the letters.

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