A suspicious package containing a letter and a stuffed animal bearing the Star of David was opened at state Sen. Greg Ball's Albany office Tuesday afternoon.
The letter begins with "Asa Lamu Laikum Dead Man Walking," (the first part of which some sources translate as "peace be upon you" in Arabic) refers to Ball (R, C - Patterson) as a "crazy, Christian cracker" who lacks political correctness, citing Friday's hearing on homeland security, veterans and military affairs. The letter, whose signer identifies him or herself as a messenger of Allah and a defender of Islam, calls the hearing a "declaration of war against Muslims."
According to this report on MSNBC.com, the hearing, which was aimed at assessing New York's readiness for terrorist attacks, featured speakers who "argued that Islam is a threat to the U.S." and spoke of terrorist training camps.
A statement released by Ball's office Tuesday afternoon did not mention any other items in the package, but other news outlets reported the arrival of hazardous materials teams at the office.
Ball is looking forward to the next hearing, which is slated for May 17 in Albany.
"Law enforcement is investigating this incident and I am confident this is in good hands," he said. "I will continue my efforts to review both progress and failure since 9-11."