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Suspicious package that prompted evacuation of Mat-Su Jewish Center posed no threat

Update, 11 a.m. Friday: A suspicious package placed in front of the Chabad Lubavitch Mat-Su Jewish Center turned out to be religious materials anonymously donated by an area resident, Alaska State Troopers said in an update. A joint FBI and Anchorage Police Department bomb squad inspected and cleared the package Thursday afternoon. It was discovered the day before the start of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.


Original story: Alaska State Troopers responded Thursday to a call about a suspicious package at the Chabad Lubavitch Mat-Su Jewish Center near Palmer and alerted others in the area to a potential threat, including a nearby high school and middle school.

Trooper Capt. Tony April told the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman that troopers got a call Thursday about a suspicious package, alerted neighbors in the area, and were awaiting the arrival of the Alaska Bureau of Investigation to take further action.

Troopers did not yet know what was in the package, April told the Frontiersman.

A man who answered the phone at the Jewish Center said the center had been evacuated due to the package and was not ready to publicly comment yet.

Troopers also alerted the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District to the possible threat at the Jewish Center, which is near Colony High School and Middle School just outside Palmer.

District spokeswoman Jillian Morrissey said the district got a call from troopers and so in “an abundance of caution” the district sent a message to parents asking them to pick up their children from school grounds. At the time most kids had already gone home but after school activities were underway, Morrissey said.

There was no direct threat to students, she said.