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The White Powder We Fear: Packages Shut Down Alaska Congressional Offices in Fairbanks

Sen. Murkowski

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The anthrax attacks of 2001 have left the U.S. with a collective paranoia about white powder and mail.

The latest: Authorities temporarily shut the offices of three Alaska Congressional members on Monday after their Fairbanks offices received suspicious packages with white powder, Reuters news service reported.

It ended up being harmless.

Reuters reported that it ended up that a man had sent samples of concrete material to the Congressional delegation, which includes Sen. Mark Begich, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Rep. Don Young.

After the anthrax attacks, which killed five people and sickened 17, the U.S. Postal service installed sensors to detect anthrax in mail processed through postal facilities around the country.

No anthrax has been detected in the mail since the 2001 attacks, but there have been endless false alarms that have shut down buildings and resulted in people being decontaminated for safe measure.

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