NBC News and news services
updated 1/6/2011 7:02:09 PM ET 2011-01-07T00:02:09

Part of the main terminal at Washington Dulles International Airport in Virginia was shut down for hours after a suspicious package was discovered near the baggage claim area.

The package was determined not to be a threat and the area was reopened.

The ticket area and baggage claim area in the airport's main terminal were closed for 2 1/2 hours Thursday afternoon after the package was discovered about 4 p.m., but flights continued operating, the airports authority said.

Story: Fiery Maryland packages injure 2 in state buildings

An airport official said a bomb-detecting dog alerted on a package near Baggage Carousel 1 this afternoon. Rob Yingling, a Dulles airport spokesman said four baggage carousels nearby were shut down and one ticket counter upstairs.

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Video: Suspicious packages sent to Maryland state offices

  1. Closed captioning of: Suspicious packages sent to Maryland state offices

    >>> not far from here in maryland tonight, there's a developing story we mentioned at the top of the broadcast. suspicious packages in the mail. our justice correspondent pete williams following the story from our newsroom tonight. pete, good evening.

    >> reporter: these were packages sent through the mail to state offices in maryland , causing a great deal of alarm this afternoon. but it turns out that none of them contained explosives. they were instead designed to spark and catch fire. and surprisingly they contained a message about threat warnings. the first package was addressed to the governor, opened shortly after noon near the capital building in annapolis. then another opened about 15 minutes later in another state office building. this one near the baltimore airport . police say the packages were both about the size of a book, that they smoked and caught fire, causing minor burns on the fingers of state employees who opened them. one federal official said they contained a message protesting, of all things, the state's road signs that urge people to report suspicious activity and this message in the package said "you have created a self-fulfilling prophecy." another official describes the message as relatively routine from a disgruntled state official. maryland authorities put a hold on state mail delivery today, checking for similar packages. but there is no suggestion of terrorism here, brian.

    >> strange and still developing story. pete williams covering it for us tonight.


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