Lincoln Memorial Closed Briefly

The Associated Press
Monday, November 27, 2006; 7:02 PM

WASHINGTON -- Authorities briefly closed the Lincoln Memorial on Monday after finding suspicious containers and a note reading, "Do you know what anthrax is?" and "Do you know what a bomb is?"

The scare began about noon when a visitor to the memorial discovered the note in a plastic document holder near the steps of the memorial.

After evacuating the area, U.S. Park Police found a travelers' coffee mug near the note on the steps and a Gatorade bottle in a women's restroom, said Wayne Benson, a battalion chief with the District of Columbia fire department.

None of the objects was found to be a threat, Benson said.

The memorial was reopened less than three hours later. No injuries were reported.

Benson would not confirm the contents of the note. An official from the Department of Homeland Security, who asked to not be identified because his agency was not in charge of the incident, quoted the questions about anthrax and bombs.

During the closure, hazardous materials crews in protective suits were seen working at the site, and the public was kept about 50 yards from the base of the memorial. Explosives experts and K-9 units were also called to the scene, Benson said.

Park Police Lt. Donald Robinson said his agency and the FBI continued to investigate.


Associated Press writer Beverley Lumpkin contributed to this report.

© 2006 The Associated Press