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B.C. newspaper receives second letter connected to pipeline bombings

DAWSON CREEK, B.C. - Staff at the Dawson Creek Daily News opened the morning mail on Wednesday and found what appeared to be the second letter from someone connected to a series of bombings targeting EnCana (TSX:ECA) operations in northeastern British Columbia.

DAWSON CREEK, B.C. - Staff at the Dawson Creek Daily News opened the morning mail on Wednesday and found what appeared to be the second letter from someone connected to a series of bombings targeting EnCana (TSX:ECA) operations in northeastern British Columbia.

The newspaper's publisher said he had read the letter, but was waiting for guidance from the RCMP before revealing what it says.

The Daily News was among local media outlets to receive another letter last October - a threatening, hand-written note that arrived shortly before the first of six explosions police recently labelled domestic terrorism.

"When we noticed that it was another letter, we immediately notified the RCMP," publisher Dan Przybylski told The Canadian Press.

"They will be getting back to us as to what kind of information they're going to let us reveal because they don't want to reveal any information that they've already been holding back."

The first letter, which arrived at the newsroom last October, called EnCana and other oil and gas companies "terrorists" and demanded they stop their operations immediately.

The letter was followed by three successive explosions that month - two of which caused leaks of sour gas, which contains toxic hydrogen sulphide.

There was a fourth explosion in January, followed by six months of quiet.

But the violence flared up again earlier this month with two bombings days apart, first on Canada Day and again on July 4.

Przybylski said the Dawson Creek Daily News has been working closely with the RCMP and will respect any concerns investigators have about publishing the letter.

The paper did, however, give the RCMP until Thursday to outline any potential concerns.

"There's a lot of give and take, especially with this case," he said. "In this area, there's a lot riding on this."

The RCMP confirmed it had received the latest letter, but a spokesman said investigators weren't ready to reveal what it says just yet

"We're still analysing the content and determining our next steps," said Sgt. Tim Shields.

"The letter is certainly significant to the investigation. We're taking it seriously."

However, Shields said he expects the letter's contents will be made public at some point.

An EnCana spokeswoman said the Calgary-based company hadn't seen the latest letter and couldn't comment.

The RCMP's anti-terrorism unit has been investigating for the past nine months with more than 250 personnel working the case, but so far no one has been charged.

Police haven't announced any substantial leads since last December, when they released a series of eight surveillance photos that apparently turned out to be a dead end.

The Mounties have said they believe whoever is responsible for the explosions is from the local area and likely has a beef with EnCana.

The company has offered a half-million-dollar reward for information in the case, and even set up a telephone line for the bomber to call and air any grievances, but no one has called.

After the latest bombings earlier this month, the RCMP said they started to receive more tips.

The last pair of attacks also marked a change in how investigators are talking about the bombings, for the first time labelling them "domestic terrorism."

Until this month, they have stopped short of calling the bombings terrorism, instead preferring the term "vandalism."

 
 
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