Envelopes with white powder were found yesterday in eight federal buildings in seven different cities across Washington, Idaho and Utah, prompting the evacuation of an IRS building and a US attorney's office. The FBI is investigating whether the incidents were linked. "It is obviously disruptive and taken seriously," says a spokesman.
Field tests of the Idaho and Utah powders indicate they were not hazardous, said an FBI spokeswoman. A field test on the powder found in Bellevue, Wash., showed its major component was calcium carbonate, a compound found in chalk and limestone. Additional lab tests were pending. In Washington, envelopes were found at a federal building in Seattle, Internal Revenue Service offices in Bellevue, and an FBI office in Spokane, Wash. Envelopes were found at four spots in Idaho—the US attorney's office and an FBI office in Coeur d'Alene, an FBI office in Pocatello and the US attorney's office in Boise—as well as at the Salt Lake City FBI office.