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WSJ Receives Mysterious White Powder In Envelopes

Posted by Jane Akre
Wednesday, January 21, 2009 4:45 PM EST
Category: Major Medical, In The Workplace
Tags: Anthrax, Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones, Public Health, Dangerous Substances, Anthrax Vaccine

WSJ headquarters receives mysterious envelopes with white powder.



IMAGE SOURCE: Wikimedia Commons/  Wendi Deng and Rupert Murdoch and MySpace Co-founders Tom Anderson and Chris DeWolfe, October 2006 / author: Oxfam America 


As if national newspapers are not having enough problems – about a dozen envelopes with an unknown white powder have been delivered to the Wall Street Journal headquarters in New York, specifically to floors 9th through the 12th floors Wednesday afternoon. 

The 9th and 11th floors, shared by executives, editorial and opinion page employees were evacuated.  The WSJ Health Blog is on the 12th floor.

The envelopes were addressed to various executives and while at least ten envelopes are reportedly being held n the mail room some had been distributed throughout the building. The addresses were addressed by hand in pen, with a postmark of Tennessee.

One envelope was addressed to the Journal’s Managing Editor, Robert Thomson but was opened by an assistant.

Reuters is reporting that the other two recipients were Dow Jones Chief Executive Les Hinton and Journal Editorial Page Editor Paul Gigot.

Hazardous materials experts are at the building along with New York City police.   Much of the building is under a lockdown at this writing. People who leave are not allowed to return, while the building security is stopping all News Corp’s Down Jones & Co (parent company of WSJ) from going back up to their floors. 

The envelopes were reportedly found on the 11th floor where News Corp Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch and Thomson have offices.

People have been asked not to open any more envelopes of mail. People who work on the 9th and 11th floors who aren’t needed for crucial functions have been told they can go home. 

WSJ is located on Liberty Street in lower Manhattan, near where the twin towers of the World Trade Center were destroyed on September 11, 2001.   

In 2001, mail with white powder was sent to media outlets and killed five people.  the powder later was found to be anthrax, an infectious disease caused by bacteria.

Then in October 2008, white powder containing envelopes were sent to the New York Times and to Reuters Corp newsroom also in New York. Chase bank offices and two other financial institutions in several states also received white-powder envelopes.  

Reuters reports the letters sent to the financial institutions warned "it's payback time," according to a text released by the FBI in October.

A NYC Police Department spokesman says these typically turn out to be talcum powder or cornstarch.  #

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