Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Tribune Offices In Anthrax Scare

Manchester, England

Employees at the London offices of the International Sai Tribune were involved in a security scare early yesterday morning. The incident involved a package that contained two packets of gray-white powder. The alarm was raised by the Regional Editor, who was the beneficiary of the package.

"I had no idea what was happening," said the Editor, who requested anonymity to protect his identity. "All I did was open my mail as usual until I came to that package. I opened it and found two packets of powder with religious symbols on it. I thought this involved terrorists and anthrax and I carefully placed them on the desk to prevent the packets from rupturing and dispersing the powder everywhere and then I started screaming for security, made a few calls and then got the hell outta there."

Forensic examiners cordoned off the offices and carried out investigations into the nature of the substance. No civilians were injured although large numbers of Tribune staff were badly shaken. "Its Al-Saida again!" screamed Sharon Moffatt, a secretarial advisor.

After a ten-hour investigation, forensic officer Lynne Huges, 41, emerged to make a statement.

"After careful investigation, we can confirm that the substance in question is not anthrax. It does, however, have a chemical constitution akin to cow-dung burnt to ashes."

Tribune employees and bystanders continued to speculate about possible Al-Saida connections, quoting the various other anthrax scares in the United States and the presence of religious symbols on the packet. A CID officer later confirmed that the markings on the packet closely resembled the 'Sarvadharma' symbol of the Sri Sathya Sai Organization, which affirmed its respect for the tenets of prominent world religions. The powder itself is believed to be the popular vibhuti that is allegedly produced in large quantites by Sri Sathya Sai Baba, an Indian religious leader and suspected homosexual.

"We're still investigating possible terrorist connections and Al-Saida hasn't been eliminated from our enquiries. The 'G.M.' mark on the back of the envelope is difficult to explain. It could be a terrorist code for 'Greater Manchester', we're not sure yet."

The investigation continues.

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