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April 7, 2015 7:28 pm

FBI, US Postal Service Join Investigation Into White Powder Threat Against Colorado Jewish Centers

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Congregation Har Hashem on Monday morning received an envelope containing a suspicious white substance. Photo: Facebook.

The FBI and the US Postal Service joined an investigation into threatening letters containing a harmless white substance that were sent to Jewish centers in Boulder, Colorado this week, CBS reported on Tuesday.

Employees at the Jewish Community Center on Kalmia Avenue opened an envelope on Monday morning filled with a white substance and accompanied by a note saying, “You have enemies.” At the time the building was already filled with a dozen preschool children along with staff members.

“Why Boulder? Why here? I don’t know,” said Boulder Sheriff Commander Jeff Hendry. “Kids are learning and then something like this happens. Three, four, five years old that parents had left at school. It’s hard.”

After Boulder County Health Department and a hazmat team responded to the scene, the building was evacuated. Less than three hours later the white powder was determined to be non-hazardous, CBS reported.

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Officials said another two suspicious packages were found while searching the area near the Jewish center. A bomb squad responded to the scene and the packages were removed by robots.

Congregation Har Hashem in South Boulder also received a letter containing white powder, which was later discovered to be harmless. The synagogue’s staff were already on alert following the incident at the Jewish Community Center.

“Since we had heard that the JCC had received a similar package earlier in the morning, we had been monitoring our mail with particular care,” the congregation said in a statement posted on their Facebook page. “Immediately, we called law enforcement and evacuated the building. They responded right away, examined the substance, and found that it was completely benign.”

The synagogue’s President, Rabbi Mark Glickman, encouraged the Jewish community to stay focused on celebrating Passover despite the incident. He said, “Let’s remember that it is Pesach, and let us continue to celebrate our people’s journey to freedom with joy.”

Officials said both envelopes had return addresses on them but they wouldn’t reveal specific details of the investigation, CBS noted.

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