Anthrax scare at Bolling Air Force Base

Bolling Air Force Base in Washington D.C. was briefly shut down June 3 following an anthrax scare, according to Pentagon officials.

Pentagon officials said the scare occurred Thursday morning after detectors in a mail room tripped an alarm signaling that anthrax was in a piece of mail.

Hazmat teams were called in and tests were conducted. Three inspections, however, detected no sign of anthrax, according to Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman.

“It was a false positive,” Whitman told the Washington Times.

The scare has raised alert status for the base. Whitman noted that the heightened alert status will likely be dropped in the near future, pending further investigation.

“Further investigation of a suspect material found in a letter is being carried out,” Whitman said.

Washington was one of several areas across the U.S. that were hit with an anthrax attack in 2001. In that attack, letters containing anthrax spores were sent to news outlets and two Democratic senators. Five people died and 17 others were infected during the 2001 attack.

The FBI determined the attack was made by Bruce Edwards Ivins, a biological scientist at the Army's Fort Detrick laboratory in Frederick, Md. The belief that Ivins was behind the attack has come under close scrutiny of late, with many in the science community saying it was not possible Ivins was behind the attacks.