FBI AND NEW JERSEY STATE POLICE RULE OUT ANY LINK BETWEEN
STATE HOUSE LETTER AND BROKAW LETTER
Acting Governor & Emergency Response Officials Continue To Urge
W. Trenton, NJ - Colonel
Carson J. Dunbar, Jr., Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police
and Director of the State Office of Emergency Management, in concert
with representatives from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI),
today issued a statement announcing that there is no apparent connection
or substantive evidence between a letter received by the New Jersey
Governor's Office and the contaminated letter received by NBC News.
According to the FBI
and the New Jersey State Police, a Federal Express package addressed
to the Governor's Office was received and opened by a member of
the support staff in the Office of Policy and Planning on Sept.
18. The package contained a letter addressed to NBC news anchor
Tom Brokaw. The state employee removed the letter from the Federal
Express package and dropped the letter into the outgoing U.S. mail
After hearing news reports
about the letters sent to Mr. Brokaw and NBC News, the state employee
contacted the New Jersey State Police State Governmental Security
Bureau regarding the Sept. 18 Federal Express package and Brokaw
letter. The State Governmental Security Bureau immediately contacted
the FBI, Newark Field Office and FBI agents responded to the State
House offices earlier today. The investigation, which included interviews
with various state employees and, when combined with other information
developed during the course of the ongoing FBI investigation, concluded
that the Federal Express package and letter re-mailed by the state
employee is not the contaminated letter received by NBC News and
Mr. Brokaw's assistant.
According to the New
Jersey Department of Health, anthrax or anthrax-related symptoms
normally appear within one to seven days of potential exposure.
Neither the employee who first contacted the suspect package and
letter nor anyone working in the Governor's Office has exhibited
any symptoms related to anthrax or anthrax spores.
The State Office of Emergency
Management, along with the State Department of Health and other
state agencies, have developed specific guidelines for handling
mail (attached). These guidelines have been issued to all state
government offices. Additionally, the State Police and the Office
of Emergency Management have issued a series of information bulletins
to all statewide law enforcement, police, and emergency management
agencies regarding response to suspicious letters, packages and/or
other situations concerning potential public safety concerns. The
state Office of Emergency Management will continue to respond to
any request for assistance and will continue to provide guidance
to local, county and state agencies.
In the wake of the growing
number of reported anthrax-suspected concerns throughout the nation
and the state, Acting Governor Donald T. DiFrancesco urged all New
Jerseyans to be vigilant, but to remain calm.
"I encourage every one
to take extra care when opening mail, whether at home or in the
office, and to familiarize yourself with the guidelines issued by
the attorney general, the FBI, the postal service and the state
Office of Emergency Management.
"This is a time for all
of us to be vigilant in all we do. But we should not let fear dictate
our daily routine. Go to work, go to school, go shopping - just
pay more attention to your surroundings and report anything suspicious
to local police agencies - whether it is an individuals actions
or a piece of mail. We won't win the war on terrorism if we allow
ourselves to be terrorized in our homes and in the workplace."
Dunbar noted that the New
Jersey Office of Emergency Management remains on 24/7 activation
and is at the
ready to help the public safely negotiate any threat or disaster.
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