Council on American-Islamic Relations D.C. Office Evacuated; 'Foreign Substance' Not Hazardous

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The Capitol Hill office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Washington was evacuated by police on December 10 after staff reported receiving a "foreign substance" in mail sent to the office. cair_national/Instagram

The Washington, D.C., office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) was evacuated on Thursday afternoon after a "foreign substance" was found in a piece of mail, the council said on Instagram, but preliminary field tests determined the subtance is not hazardous.

The article in which the substance was found was handed over to the FBI for further testing, CAIR said.

"We receive hate messages daily because of our advocacy on behalf of the American Muslim community. It's frightening to...

Posted by CAIR on Thursday, December 10, 2015

"We receive hate messages daily because of our advocacy on behalf of the American Muslim community. It's frightening to experience the hate manifest itself to such a real level," Maha Sayed, an attorney for the Muslim advocacy group, said in a statement. "This will not deter us from continuing to protect the civil rights and liberties of all Americans."

CAIR posted a photograph of two firefighters and two other officials in hazmat suits entering the office. A video shows emergency response authorities, including fire trucks and a police car, at the scene.

Since a Muslim couple opened fire at a holiday party in San Bernardino, California on December 2, multiple Islamic centers and mosques in the U.S. have been targets of hate crimes. In Philadelphia, a pig's head was left at a mosque, while in Florida an Islamic center was vandalized.

Council on American-Islamic Relations D.C. Office Evacuated; 'Foreign Substance' Not Hazardous | U.S.