Suspicious Package Reports Increase Around U.S. After bin Laden Death Announcement

A New York City Police Department mobile observation tower is seen in Times Square May 6, 2010 in New York City. Security has been increased following the botched Times Square car bomb plot and has prompted some officials to call for widened video surveillance of Times Square and other urban centers. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Suspicious packages reported across U.S. in wake of Osama bin Laden’s death (MassLive.com):

Following the death of Osama bin Laden in a raid by U.S. Navy SEALs in Pakistan, President Barack Obama and other U.S. officials warned that even if al Qaeda was not poised to launch a major retaliatory attack, an increased threat from “homegrown extremists” exists.

That threat seems to have caught the public’s attention with almost a dozen suspicious packages reported across the nation since the news of bin Laden’s death was announced late Sunday.

In Massachusetts on Tuesday, there were at least four incidents involving suspicious packages.

An unknown white powder was found in envelopes addressed to Attorney General Martha Coakley and U.S. Sen. Scott Brown in downtown Boston, as well as in an envelope addressed to the court clerk at Greenfield District Court. A similar substance was reportedly found in the John F. Kennedy Federal Office Building in Boston.

Preliminary reports all indicated the substances weren’t dangerous, but further tests are being conducted at state labs.

Miniature basketballs prompt suspicious package scare (Central Florida News):

A bomb squad was on the scene of the Orlando World Center Marriott Tuesday following a suspicious package incident.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office said the package in question was found at a loading dock at the Orlando World Center Marriott, near Lake Buena Vista.

A sheriff’s spokesman says hotel employees got suspicious when nobody picked up the package, so they called 911.

Deputies said they cleared out employees who work near the loading dock.

Officials said the package contained “what appeared to be miniature promotional basketballs.”

Package probe disrupts LA commuter line service (San Jose Mercury News):

A suspicious device that interrupted service on a Los Angeles light rail line has been rendered safe by a bomb squad robot.

Service near the Metro Gold Line’s Little Tokyo station was disrupted for more than three hours on Tuesday after someone spotted an object hanging on a tree that resembled a hand grenade.

Lt. Paul Vernon told City News Service that bomb technicians used a specialized cannon to shoot and break apart the object, which turned out to be an ornament made of Styrofoam.

Suspicious Package Forces Downtown Road Closure (WTVF Nashville):

A major thoroughfare in downtown Nashville was closed and a building evacuated after an attorney received a suspicious package. The closure caused problems right at the start of the evening commute.

Police shut down James Robertson Parkway Tuesday just before 4 p.m. between 3rd Avenue North and Gay Street.

An attorney at the Robertson Parkway Tower received a package that contained stack of papers inside a box. The middle of the papers had been hollowed out and hid what officials said was a suspicious device.

Security remains high as ‘Say Something’ calls spike (WABC – New York):

Reports of suspicious packages have spiked in recent days, and there were more than 60 across the city on Monday alone. All of them were false alarms.

“I don’t think people need to be unnecessarily or unduly worried,” said Janice Fedarcy, assistant director of the New York FBI. “I think really it’s a matter of just maintaining vigilance of not becoming complacent.”

CARLSBAD: Bomb squad blows up suspicious device at library (North County Times):

Bomb specialists exploded a suspicious, bomb-like device at about 10:45 a.m. following the evacuation of 60 people from Carlsbad’s Cole Library, City Hall and nearby homes on Wednesday morning.

City maintenance crews discovered the object in the main entranceway of the library at 1250 Carlsbad Village Drive and called police at 8:18 a.m., Lt. Kelly Cain said.

The gray-colored object was about 10 inches long and 2 inches wide, and was connected with wires to a 9-volt battery, Cain said.

“It looked suspicious enough to call the San Diego bomb squad,” he added

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