CCTV cameras near post boxes malfunction amid anthrax-laced letters scare

Anthrax Scare: Malfunctioning CCTV Cameras Amid Investigation into Suspicious Letters Sent to Pakistan Judges

Law enforcement officials probing the suspected anthrax-contaminated letters sent to judges of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) and Supreme Court disclosed that many CCTV cameras near the post boxes were not functioning when the envelopes were inserted into them. This information surfaced on Thursday.

On March 3, a day after the Supreme Court of Pakistan initiated suo motu notice regarding allegations by six IHC judges against intelligence agencies, the IHC chief justice and eight judges received suspected letters.

The Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) of Islamabad police is swiftly gathering information and determining the chemical composition of the powdery substance after the eight IHC judges received “letters containing suspected anthrax powder along with a threatening message.”

The investigation into the suspicious letters is being handled by the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) of Islamabad police, with progress reports shared with the Registrars of the Supreme Court and IHC.

Sources suggest ongoing scrutiny of post boxes in Satellite Town, Rawalpindi, where several CCTV cameras were found non-functional. The Islamabad police are broadening the inquiry by interviewing individuals in nearby shops and offices, and all Satellite Town, Rawalpindi post office staff are being examined.

Reports indicate the letters were sent by a woman named Resham without a return address. A judge’s aide accidentally dropped an envelope containing the suspicious substance, experiencing severe eye irritation and lip burns afterward.

Subsequently, the Islamabad Inspector General (IG) and Deputy Inspector General (DIG) were summoned to the IHC, and all suspicious letters were handed over to the police for further investigation.

Notably, initially, eight Islamabad High Court judges received suspicious letters, followed by judges from the Lahore High Court and the Supreme Court of Pakistan.