People of Northwest Public Radio
Wed February 22, 2012
Mail Containing Harmless Powdery Substance Sent To Congressional Offices
Three different congressional offices have received mailings that contained a suspicious powdery substance.
Terrance W. Gainer, the Senate Sergeant at Arms, sent an email to congressional staff saying that a Senate State office and House District office received a mailing yesterday and a Senate State office received a letter today. Gainer said the letters were postmarked in Portland and the substance was found to be harmless.
"The author of these letters has indicated that additional letters containing a powdery substance will be arriving at more Senate offices and that some of these letters may contain an actual harmful material," Gainer said in the email.
Reuters reported the mailings come after warning letters were sent to comedians Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart. Reuters, quoting an unnamed law enforcement official, said the letter sent to the TV personalities threatened to send letters to all 100 U.S. senators and "10 of them would contain a deadly pathogen."
Fox News is also reporting that letters were sent to Viacom offices and addressed to Colbert and Stewart.
Reuters adds that some of letters "contained anti-government and anti-Wall Street rhetoric."
In his email, Gainer cautioned congressional employees that they should treat suspicious pieces of mail as if they do contain harmful material.