Over the past two weeks, there have been six locations in the Portland, Oregon area as well as locations in Connecticut and NYC that have received envelopes containing suspicious white powder.
In Portland , two different locations received letters on Thursday. The first letter was sent to Portland State University at the Market Center building near Southwest 4th Avenue and Market Street. The second scare took place at the Oregon Health & Science University in the Marquam Plaza Building at 2525 Southwest 3rd. On Wednesday, two white powder incidents were reported. One occurred at the Hilton Hotel in Downtown Portland, the second occurred at a Port of Portland building near the Portland International Airport. On Tuesday there was a scare at the Lloyd Center mall on Tuesday and there was an intial incident at the Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse on April 26.
In all of the Portland cases, the envelopes were addressed to human resources offices and “anthrax” written either directly on the envelope or in a two-page letter in the envelope. Evacuations and hazmat teams were called out to address the scares, and several people who had contact with the letters were quarantined. No anthrax was found in any of the cases.
Referencing the Portland cases, FBI spokeswoman Beth Anne Steele issued a press release today stating “the FBI and its local partners believe they have stopped the sender or senders’ ability to continue this stream of threats.” They have not as yet clarified what that means, or whether there may have been an arrest.
“White powder” scares have also been currently occurring at locations in Connecticut.
The Rowland State Government Center in Waterbury and the Ruth Chaffee School in Newington were evacuated on Thursday. Keeny Street Elementary in Manchester was also locked down. All are closed today, pending an investigation. The powder in the Manchester school was accompanied by a letter mentioning Al Qaida.
A spate of “white powder” letters were sent to several banks in NYC on April 30, saying “Happy May Day”, seemingly referencing May Day protests.
No one was injured in any of the incidents and no anthrax was found. There is no indication at present whether these incidents are related.