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Antiwar packages elicit suspicion

No threat found at Guard sites

By Eileen Sullivan
Associated Press / December 18, 2008
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WASHINGTON - Suspicious packages have been sent to National Guard and Reserve facilities in 36 states, federal authorities said yesterday.

Initial reports from the Guard that one of the packages contained a powdery substance turned out to be incorrect, officials said.

The 51 packages included antiwar compact discs and began arriving at locations around the country last Friday, National Guard spokesman Mark Allen said.

Some of the packages were postmarked from Tennessee and Oklahoma, Allen said.

"It doesn't appear that we have a problem," Allen said yesterday.

Officials initially had been told by a number of people that a package received Tuesday at Utah's National Guard headquarters in Draper also contained a suspicious powdery substance.

But Lieutenant Colonel Hank McIntire, a spokesman for the Utah Guard, said yesterday that "first reports of the incident were incorrect."

The National Guard notified the FBI about the packages. However FBI spokesman Rich Kolko said these packages appeared to be someone exercising their First Amendment rights and were not a crime.

He said the FBI is not investigating these mailings and they are unrelated to the suspicious packages sent to governors' offices and US embassies.

Sixteen US embassies in Europe have received letters containing a suspicious white substance, and tests have shown 14 of them to be harmless, State Department spokesman Robert A. Wood said yesterday.

Test results for the substance in one of the letters has not yet been received, he said.

More than 40 governors' offices nationwide have also gotten the letters, which contain an unspecified note, Kolko said Tuesday.

The FBI said that all of those were postmarked from Texas; the letters began showing up in states last week.

They all appear to be from the same source.

All of the letters have tested negative for any dangerous toxin or other threat, authorities said yesterday.

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