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Md. Issues Alert In Wake Of D.C. Suspicious Letters

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REISTERSTOWN, Md. (WJZ) —Maryland leaders are warning you to be on the lookout. That’s after dozens of schools received letters containing a suspicious powder.

Kelly McPherson has the investigation and what you need to be aware of.

Four months ago, the state was on guard because of suspicious packages. Now Maryland emergency responders are informing schools and local governments about what to do if something suspicious arrives in the mail.

Thirty-seven letters with suspicious white powder have shut down 28 Washington, D.C. schools this week.

“And all of the teachers were like, ‘This isn’t a drill; this isn’t a drill, Go, go, go!’” said a witness.

“I didn’t touch the powder, but I touched the envelope and saw that there was writing inside. It was from North Dallas, Texas. It said ‘AL AQEDA-USA-FBI,’” said Principal Richard Trogisch, School Without Walls.

The massive police and fire response cooled when investigators realized the powder wasn’t harmful.

None of the letters has been delivered to any Maryland schools, but the state wants all of the principals, the faculty and students to be aware of the situation just in case.

“If they get those things and they’re not quite comfortable with them, to isolate those to an area and to call 911,” said Richard Muth, Executive Director of the Maryland Emergency Management Agency.

MEMA is alerting schools and local emergency managers to be on guard.

This latest mail scare comes four months after two incendiary devices were sent to the governor and state transportation secretary in Annapolis and Hanover. No one was significantly injured, but it put all state post offices on alert.

“These are not related incidences, but they certainly all come under the heading of terrorism,” Muth said. “When we realize that there’s a heightened alert, at least sense, we want to make sure we stay on top of it.”

Washington, D.C. schools were back in session Friday, but anger lingers.

“We take every one of these things seriously because we have to,” said D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray. “Obviously to the extent that there is nothing involved here, it averts our attention from other situations that our law enforcement officials should be focusing on.”

 No one has been arrested, though all of the letters have been mailed from Texas.  No one has been arrested in the January case of incendiary devices either.

 The FBI and postal inspectors are also investigating similar letters delivered in Dallas and several school districts across the country.

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