Investigation under way into threat on Fort Benning

Few details emerged Saturday on a reported threat at Fort Benning.

Thursday a solider found a suspicious package and a note threatening a massacre similar to the Nov. 5 attack at Fort Hood, Texas, Elsie Jackson, post spokeswoman at Fort Benning confirmed Saturday.

The anonymous note and package --  reported by The Army Times as a box of 20 hollow-point bullets -- were found Thursday morning outside a motor pool area at Fort Benning, located near Columbus.

"There may be an update Monday," said Jackson Saturday. "But at this time there is an ongoing investigation of the incident."

The discovery coincided with a visit from Gen. David Petraeus, commander of U.S. Central Command, who was in town for Officer Candidate School graduation. The threat prompted a criminal investigation and greater police presence on the Army base, the Army Times reports.

According to a witness on the scene, a box of 20 hollow-point shells and a handwritten note were found under the 197th Infantry Training Brigade.

“The note said ‘tell the commanding general to call off all charges or there will be a re-enactment of Fort Hood,’ ” a witness told Army Times. Army psychiatrist Nidal Hasan is charged in the Nov. 5 shooting deaths of 13 fellow service members.

The newspaper, which serves an audience of Army personnel, active and retired, said military police acted quickly on the threat, cordoning off a 20-foot perimeter around the box.

“They’re talking with anyone with a pending [Uniform Code of Military Justice] charge and people who are getting chaptered out to see if they can find out who it is,” the witness told the Army Times.

Fort Benning officials refused comment on the specifics of the letter but confirmed  “an ongoing investigation into a general threat at Fort Benning.”

“A suspicious package and note were found,” Jackson said. “The soldier notified a noncommissioned officer, who alerted 911. The area was secured as is normal in these types of incidents.”

Soldiers in the unit are being questioned about the threat, the witness told the Army Times. The Kelley Hill area of Fort Benning was on lockdown for part of the day Friday, according to the witness, who noted an increase in military police patrols on the post.

The Fort Benning spokeswoman said “appropriate force protection measures are in place while an investigation is underway to determine if this is a viable threat.”