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White Powder Mailed to Dershowitz and Newspaper Wasn’t Anthrax

Posted Jan 22, 2009 7:07 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Initial tests indicate nothing hazardous in white powder mailed to Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz and the Wall Street Journal.

The material was probably flour or another type of food substance, the Wall Street Journal reports. Fearing the powder could be anthrax, authorities on Wednesday evacuated the floor in Hauser Hall where Dershowitz’s office is located and school officials canceled classes there, the Boston Globe reports. The building will reopen today.

Two floors at the Wall Street Journal were also cleared.

The envelopes were postmarked in Knoxville, Tenn. The mailing to Dershowitz contained a greeting card with the word “thanks” in jagged capital letters, a source told the Wall Street Journal.

Dershowitz had recently published an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal that defended Israel’s military actions in Gaza, He told the Wall Street Journal he doesn’t know if he was targeted because of the article.

Dershowitz told the Globe that his secretary opened the envelope and “endured most of the trauma.”

“I hope they find the people and prosecute them,” he told the Globe. “It's a serious crime even if turns out the powder was not contaminating.''

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