Powder Mailed to Journal, Dershowitz Is Harmless

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 21, 2009 8:25 PM CST
A HAZMAT truck, foreground, and NYPD trucks are parked in front of the the building at the World Financial Center where the Wall Street Journal has its offices.   (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
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(Newser) – White powder mailed to executives of the Wall Street Journal and to Harvard professor Alan Dershowitz is harmless, authorities say. Authorities have no suspects or motive, but the Journal notes that Dershowitz wrote an essay for the paper earlier this month defending Israel's assault on Gaza. The Journal got a dozen letters and evacuated two floors of its Manhattan offices this afternoon. Dershowitz got one letter at Harvard Law School.

"My secretary was really brave and endured most of the trauma," Dershowitz told the Boston Globe. "It was terrible. I hope they find the people and prosecute them." Preliminary tests indicate that the powder is probably flour or something similar. The scare raised memories of a series of anthrax-laced letters sent to media outlets seven years ago. (Read more Wall Street Journal stories.)