Mass. co. receives anthrax hoax letters

Raytheon last week joined a growing list of companies to receive threatening envelopes in the mail that contained a suspicious white powder and a note mentioning the terror group Al-Qaeda.

Although the Raytheon office is located in Waltham, Massachusetts, the two envelopes are believed to be connected to a series of 25 similar bioterror hoaxes that have occurred predominantly in North Texas over the last ten days, according to NECN. In the Dallas area cases, two Raytheon offices were targeted.

Other victims of the hoaxes include elementary schools, churches, mosques, and aeronautics and technology companies like Raytheon. In all of the cases, the white powder was tested by the FBI and found to be innocuous. In at least some of the cases, the powder was identified as cornstarch.

The envelopes have all had a postmark from North Texas, a similar return address and contained a single typed sentence. An FBI official told NECN that the letters, containing a single sentence, make no sense, but that they match up with over 200 letters that were sent to governor’s offices and U.S. embassies in 2008.

The FBI said that the letters mentioned the terror group Al-Qaeda, but noted that they were not well-articulated, so their meaning remains undetermined.

Postal officials say that since the 2001 anthrax scare, all mail is scanned for biohazards. Suspicious packages, however, still require precautions and cause disruptions.