Following the Boston Marathon bombing in the spring, the Boston Police Department is leaving nothing to chance.
Last Friday at 1 p.m. the Bomb Squad was called in to investigate a suspicious package outside the East Boston Post Office on Meridian Street. BPD was already on a heightened alert that day after the State Department issued a terror threat warning for a potential Al Qaeda plot overseas.
Once police arrived at the scene they spotted a black backpack in the shrubs outside the entrance of the Post Office.
Police evacuated the Post Office, roped off a perimeter around the building, closed foot and vehicular traffic on surrounding streets and got to work.
Bomb Squad technicians suited up and x-rayed the package and after viewing the film found that aside from an aerosol can inside the bag there was nothing more than clothing.
“Since the Marathon Bombing we have investigated several suspicious packages around the city that turned out to be nothing,” said BPD spokeswoman Cheryl Fiandaca. “However, we encourage everyone to be vigilant and if they see something suspicious to call 911. In this day and age it is the right thing to do.”
In April Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev allegedly set off two bombs using pressure cookers and gunpowder packed in backpacks near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
Tamerlan died in a shootout with police in Watertown but his younger brother escaped. After daylong manhunt, Dzhokhar was wounded and captured by authorities in Watertown and charged with using a weapon of mass destruction against persons and property.
On the morning of Eastie’s bomb scare, the State Department warned U.S. citizens to the continued potential for terrorist attacks, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa, and possibly occurring in or emanating from the Arabian Peninsula.
“Current information suggests that Al Qaeda and affiliated organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks both in the region and beyond, and that they may focus efforts to conduct attacks in the period between now and the end of August. This Travel Alert expires on August 31, 2013,” the warning read. “Terrorists may elect to use a variety of means and weapons and target both official and private interests. U.S. citizens are reminded of the potential for terrorists to attack public transportation systems and other tourist infrastructure. Terrorists have targeted and attacked subway and rail systems, as well as aviation and maritime services. U.S. citizens should take every precaution to be aware of their surroundings and to adopt appropriate safety measures to protect themselves when traveling.”