FBI: Californian sent fake anthrax letter to Star Tribune

  • Article by: PAUL WALSH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 30, 2008 - 11:49 PM

Firefighters responded to the Star Tribune after it received one of the hoax "anthrax" letters that a California man sent out to media outlets across the country.

Photo: Deb Pastner, Star Tribune

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The FBI is warning news media outlets to be on the alert when opening mail after a California man was arrested on suspicion of sending more than 100 hoax letters labeled "anthrax" to TV stations and newspapers, including the Star Tribune.

Minneapolis police said Thursday that a preliminary test on the contents of the envelope to the Star Tribune were negative for hazardous material. That mirrored results elsewhere, the FBI said.

Marc M. Keyser, 66, sent more than 120 envelopes containing a compact disc that had a packet of sugar labeled "Anthrax Sample" along with a biohazard symbol, the FBI said. The CD was titled "Anthrax: Shock & Awe Terror."

At the Star Tribune, a newsroom employee opened the envelope and discovered the CD -- with a photo of Colin Powell on it -- and a packet of sugar. Minneapolis police and the FBI were called. The Star Tribune building at 425 Portland Av. S. in Minneapolis was not evacuated, and none of the employees required medical attention.

More mailings will probably be received over the next few days, authorities warned. Recipients should contact their local FBI office, said FBI agent Steve Dupre. He said the arrest is not connected to another series of bogus mailings sent to financial institutions.

Keyser was taken into custody without incident at his home in Sacramento on three counts of sending a hoax letter, the FBI said. At least some of the packages had Keyser's return address on them, Dupre said.

The investigation began after the Atlantic magazine received a letter Monday, Dupre said. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer newsroom was evacuated briefly Wednesday after an editor opened a package believed to be connected to the mailings.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482

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