USDA closes offices in five states, citing anonymous threats

The USDA says it closed six offices in five states today after acquiring a series of anonymous threats.

The department closed offices in Fort Collins, Colo.; Hamden, Conn.; Beltsville, Md.; Raleigh, N.C.; and Kearneysville and Leetown, W.Va. A USDA spokesman said the FBI is investigating the threats, submitted an e-mail to multiple employees at most with the locations. The department declined to offer more information on the messages contained, but Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, within a memo to USDA employees, described them as "serious [in] nature."

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"USDA is working closely with federal and native the police, such as Fbi, to view whether or not the threats are credible," the spokesman, Matthew Herrick, said inside of a statement. "Personnel at these locations have already been made aware of the threats and will not report back to these offices until further notice."

The closures would not customize the USDA headquarters in Washington, but did power down the department’s Agricultural Research Center in Beltsville. All in all, the closures affect 1,500 employees at eight USDA offices.

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