The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and the State Department said on Wednesday that more than 40 governor offices and at least 15 U.S. embassies in Europe have received envelopes with suspicious white powder but no dangerous substances were found yet.
According to the State Department, embassies in Berlin, Berne, Brussels, Bucharest, Copenhagen, Dublin, Luxembourg, Madrid, Oslo, Paris, Riga, Rome, Stockholm, Tallinn, and The Hague all received the mails with such powder.
"There have been some initial tests that have been done, and all of them have proved negative," said deputy spokesman Robert Wood, adding two embassies in Rome, Italy, and Bucharest, Romania, were closed because of the incidents.
Emergency workers stand inside the door at the U.S. embassy in Madrid after it received a suspicious envelope Dec. 17, 2008.
In Madrid, Spain, local authorities took precautions measures including deployment of ambulances outside the U.S. embassy and the close-off of the road near-by after they received the report on the white-powder envelopes.
Emergency workers stand outside the door at the U.S. embassy in Madrid after it received a suspicious envelope Dec. 17, 2008.
A statement released by the FBI said that offices of more than 40 governors across the country also received similar envelopes with white powder that was tested negative.
However, the FBI warned "sending a hoax letter is serious and can have severe consequences."
According to the bureau, those receivers included that Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, the former Republican vice presidential candidate, and governors of Rhode Island, Michigan, Mississippi, Alabama, Minnesota, Montana, and Missouri.
The incidents evoked memory of the anthrax letters that killed five people and stirred panic in the U.S. right after the Sept. 11,2001, terrorist attacks. Source:Xinhua