A building housing the US Consulate in Milan and other offices has been temporarily evacuated after the diplomatic mission received a letter containing a bomb threat, police said. An officer in Italy's anti-terrorism squad said the letter carried a symbol frequently used in the past by Italian anarchists.
In Washington, US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki confirmed the bomb threat and the temporary closure, on Tuesday evening of the consulate. She also thanked Italian authorities for their "prompted and professional response."
The officer said police inspected the building after staff members were evacuated and that no members of the public appeared to be there at the time. The officer spoke on condition of anonymity in keeping with police regulations. Later, the building's tenants were allowed back inside after the alarm was called off. Several Italian radio stations have offices in the same building and also were temporarily evacuated.
As a precaution, a nearby subway stop was temporarily closed during rush hour as a precaution but later was reopened. Police denied Italian news reports that suspicious luggage also had been found at the consulate.
Psaki said she was not aware of any connection between the bomb threat in Milan and the al-Qaeda threats that prompted the temporary closure of US embassies across the Mideast and Africa, and the evacuation of US personnel from the US Embassy in Yemen. Italian Foreign Minister Emma Bonino said the US warnings prompted Italy to reduce operations at some of its diplomatic missions.