Several members of the U.S. Congress received mail threatening a biological attack and containing a suspicious powder later found to be harmless as law enforcement officials warned on Wednesday that more letters could be on their way.
According to Reuters, a number of media organizations and TV shows, including the New York Times and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, received mail postmarked Oregon warning that letters had been sent to the Washington or local offices of all 100 U.S. senators and that 10 contained a deadly pathogen, a law enforcement source said.
House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner, the top Republican in Congress, received a letter containing a powdery substance at one of his offices in his home state of Ohio, a Republican aide said, adding that the powder was harmless.
Letters containing powder were also received at the home-state office of two senators, according to Senate Sergeant at Arms Terrance Gainer, the chamber's chief law enforcement officer. Tests found the powder was harmless, Gainer said in a statement. He did not identify the senators.
In a notice to Senate staffers titled "Urgent: Suspicious Mail Alert," Gainer warned that the sender of the letters had "indicated that additional letters containing a powdery substance will be arriving at more Senate offices and that some of these letters may contain actual harmful material."
He warned that special attention should be paid to letters sent from Portland, Oregon.