FBI says powder found in Anchorage federal office was not toxic; discovery emptied building

ANCHORAGE — A white powder found in an envelope last week in the Anchorage federal building did not contain toxins, the FBI said Sunday.


Spokesman Eric Gonzales said laboratory tests on the powder were negative, confirming field testing.

The envelope arrived by mail and was opened Friday in the office of the U.S. District Court clerk. The discovery of the white powder led to the evacuation of the downtown building.

Lab testing confirmed the material was not dangerous but did not determine what it was, Gonzales said. Additional testing was planned and an investigation remained open as to why it was sent to the federal court clerk’s office, Gonzales said.

News reports have said a note was in the envelope, but Gonzales could not confirm that.

“I can’t say anything about the note, whether there was one or not,” Gonzales said.

Suspicious packages also caused alarm in federal offices last month.

Federal investigators were alerted when someone from Arizona sent envelopes with powder to the offices of U.S. Sens. Mark Begich and Lisa Murkowski in Fairbanks and U.S. Rep. Don Young in Anchorage.

The white powder prompted the evacuation of the federal building in Fairbanks and the closure of the sixth floor of Peterson Tower in downtown Anchorage, where all three members of the Alaska delegation have offices.


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