Envelopes containing white powder sent to Church of Scientology locations in southern California, USA

Friday, February 1, 2008

The Church of Scientology in southern California, United States have received several envelopes containing a white powder which authorities say ended up being wheat germ and corn starch.

Authorities had to evacuate at least one building in Tustin and shut down a street in Glendale while they examined the substance. Envelopes were also sent to Hollywood, Los Angeles, San Fernando Valley and Santa Monica locations.

"Initial field testing by LAPD indicates the powder is harmless. However, further testing will be conducted. We will also work to assess what threat, if any, was associated with the mailings and determine whether any federal statutes were violated," said Laura Eimiller, a spokeswoman for the FBI.

The envelopes, which we were sent through the United States Postal Service, targeted 10 different Churches throughout southern California. Some also contained threats.

The Church has not issued a statement regarding the incidents and no one has yet claimed responsibility for sending the envelopes.

This comes just before a scheduled protest which an Internet group called 'Anonymous' has organized, set to take place on February 10 at Church locations across the globe.

According to the Los Angeles Times, authorities stated that there was no evidence connecting the mailings to the Internet group.

On a Project Chanology website, 'Anonymous' made a statement about the senders of the powder under the heading 'To the Public and Anybody Investigating the Anthrax Hoax': "They may not even be Anonymous (they might even have been a plant by the "Church" of Scientology as black propaganda); we do not know, and by the nature of our organization, cannot know."