February Fumes Investigated as Terrorism

The FBI is now investigating an incident from February where noxious fumes made shoppers sick at the NorthTown Mall in Spokane, Wash.

The case was forwarded to the FBI's Inland Northwest Joint Terrorism Task Force by Spokane police, police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer DeRuwe said. Officials wouldn't say specifically why they believe terrorism might have been involved.

Shoppers were evacuated Feb. 11 after some suffered symptoms consistent with being exposed to pepper spray or Mace, DeRuwe said. Reactions included coughing, watery eyes and noses, and scratchy throats.

No one suffered long term health damage, DeRuwe said.

Norman C. Brown, the FBI task force supervisor, said the incident "could be anything from a prank to an intentional act against a targeted store."

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