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Bioterror mail threats continue to be reported
Feds outline action steps for local response
Public health and law enforcement officials recently declassified a report that reveals ongoing biological threats through the mail. A large number of potentially suspicious letters and packages continue to be reported to federal, state, and local law enforcement and emergency response agencies nationwide, the Nov. 2, 2004, report states. In some instances, these letters or packages may include powders, liquids, or other materials.
Since there often is an articulated threat, it is likely the substance was intentionally introduced into the package in an effort to validate that threat. An articulated threat itself (with or without the presence of a suspicious substance) is a federal crime and also may constitute a violation under state and local statutes.
According to the report, these are some of the key steps to take for a letter/container with unknown powderlike substance and a threatening communication (with or without illness in the recipient):