Mailing of Islamic faith materials by Saudi Arabia Embassy puts school systems on notice

From Staff Reports

   Schools systems across the state have been notified that they may receive a large, brown, padded envelope in the mail from the Ambassador of Saudi Arabia, Washington, D.C.
   Allen Craig, State Epidemiologist with the Tennessee Department of Health, Nashville, said the mass mailing to 5,000 schools in the United States "may cause emergency calls to public safety agencies" in this time of heightened awareness on the part of the general public.
   Locally, Elizabethton City Schools and Carter County Schools also received the notice and immediately advised school principals to be on the lookout for such a mailing and to use their discretion when opening the package.
   None of the packages had been received by principals in Elizabethton and Carter County Schools as of Friday afternoon.
   In his e-mail, Craig said the 10-1/2 inch by 14 inch envelope contains a "legitimate letter from Ambassador Bandar bin Sultan, a videotape and two books, all of which are intended to be used as an educational aid to increase understanding of and sensitivity to the Islamic faith."
   The return address reads: "H.R.H. Prince Bandar bin Sultan, Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, 601 New Hampshire Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20037."
   Craig said there is a logo of a palm tree with two crossed swords next to the return address. The addressee label reads: "The Principal, (name of school), (address of school)."