Greenbelt Interfaith News
    Washington Brief

    June 1, 1997

    B'nai B'rith Building Evacuated After Threat

    The B'nai B'rith building in Washington was the victim of an ugly prank on April 24, causing it and surrounding buildings to be evacuated for eight hours. The evacuation was ordered by D.C. police after a B'nai B'rith employee noticed a suspicious package in the mail room of the Jewish social service organization. The package contained a shattered petri dish labelled "anthrax," a deadly bacterial disease.

    The Federal Bureau of Investigation later determined that the substance in the petri dish was ordinary household bacteria, but sent warnings to Jewish organizations throughout the U.S. According to the FBI's advisory, The Washington Post reported, a letter enclosed with the package derided Jewish liberalism and the Jewish community in general.

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    ©1997 Heather Elizabeth Peterson