2001 anthrax attacks – Wikipedia – The 2001 anthrax attacks, also known as Amerithrax from its Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) case name, occurred within the United States over the course of several weeks beginning on September 18, 2001, one week after the September 11 attacks. Letters containing anthrax spores were mailed to several news media offices and two Democratic U.S. Senators (Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy), killing 5 people and infecting 17 others. According to the FBI, the ensuing investigation became “one of the largest and most complex in the history of law enforcement.”
A major focus in the early years of the investigation was a bio-weapons expert named Steven Hatfill, who was eventually exonerated. Another suspect, Bruce Edwards Ivins, became a focus of investigation around April 4, 2005. Ivins was a scientist who worked at the government’s biodefense labs at Fort Detrick in Frederick, Maryland. On April 11, 2007, Ivins was put under periodic surveillance and an FBI document stated that “Bruce Edwards Ivins is an extremely sensitive suspect in the 2001 anthrax attacks.” On July 29, 2008, Ivins committed suicide with an overdose of acetaminophen.
On August 6, 2008, based on DNA evidence leading to an anthrax vial in Ivins’s lab, federal prosecutors declared Ivins to be the sole culprit of the crime. Two days later, Senator Chuck Grassley and Rep. Rush Holt called for hearings into the DOJ and FBI’s handling of the investigation. On February 19, 2010, the FBI formally closed its investigation.
In 2008, the FBI requested a review of the scientific methods used in their investigation from the National Academy of Sciences, which released their findings in the 2011 report Review of the Scientific Approaches Used During the FBI’s Investigation of the 2001 Anthrax Letters. The report cast doubt on the U.S. government’s conclusion that Ivins was the perpetrator, finding that although the type of anthrax used in the letters was correctly identified as the Ames strain of the bacterium, there was insufficient scientific evidence for the FBI’s assertion that it originated from Ivins’s laboratory. The FBI responded by pointing out that the review panel asserted that it would not be possible to reach a definite conclusion based on science alone, and said that a combination of factors led the FBI to conclude that Ivins had been the perpetrator. Some information about the case related to Ivins’s mental problems is still under seal. Lawsuits filed by the widow of the first anthrax victim Bob Stevens were settled by the government for $2.5 million with no admission of liability. According to a statement in the settlement agreement, the settlement was reached solely for the purpose of “avoiding the expenses and risks of further litigations”.
ADL // Beyond Anthrax: Extremism and the Bioterrorism Threat [https://www.adl.org/sites/default/files/documents/assets/pdf/combating-hate/beyond_anthrax.pdf]
Should the FBI Racially Profile White People? | HuffPost – By Casey Gane-McCalla
First off let me say that racial profiling is inherently racist, unjust and does not solve problems, whether they be crime, drugs terrorism or immigration. However, seeing as how the justice department is already considering legalizing racial profiling, shouldn’t we be equal opportunity racial profilers.
We now have an African American President. This opens the doors to the sleeping giant of white racism and supremacy that has been complacent during the Bush years. There is a new demographic of extremist terrorists that pose a threat to our new President and our African American citizens.
We have seen the results that white supremacist extremist terrorism has caused before: the bombing of the Birmingham church that killed four young black girls, the torture and murder of Emmit Till, the assassinations of Medgar Evers and Martin Luther King, countless lynchings, vandalism, intimidation, kidnappings, rapes and murders.
US anthrax attackers aimed to assassinate Democratic leaders – World Socialist Web Site – Media silent on military links
By Jerry White
23 January 2002
In the more than three months since anthrax-infected letters were mailed to US Senators Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy, evidence has emerged about the source and motives of the attack which has vast political implications.
It is now generally accepted that the anthrax came from a domestic source, not from the Middle East. Given the fact that the intended victims were prominent leaders of the Democratic Party, it is clear that the perpetrators must be linked to right-wing organizations in the US. In December, the anthrax in the letters was traced to biological warfare facilities run by the US military.
Most recently, the Washington Post reported January 21 that at least 27 biological warfare specimens, including anthrax bacteria, had gone unaccounted for at the Army’s Fort Detrick, Maryland lab, prompting an internal investigation in 1992. Lab workers told the Post that they had produced anthrax in powder form, contrary to official claims that the lab generated only “wet” anthrax, which is less dangerous.
Anthrax attacks’ ‘work of neo-Nazis’ | World news | The Guardian – Neo-Nazi extremists within the US are behind the deadly wave of anthrax attacks against America, according to latest briefings from the security services and Justice Department.
Experts on ‘survivalist’ groups and extreme-right ‘Aryan’ militants have been drafted into the investigation as the focus shifts away from possible links with the 11 September terrorists or even possible state backers such as Iraq.
‘We’ve been zeroing in on a number of hate groups, especially one on the West Coast,’ a source at the Justice Department told The Observer yesterday. ‘We’ve certainly not discounted the possibility that they may be involved.’
The anthrax crisis, which grew last week, had by Friday night spread to mailrooms at CIA headquarters, the Supreme Court and a hospital, and yesterday three traces were found in an office building serving the US Capitol.
‘There are a number of strong leads, and some people we know well that we are looking at,’ the Justice Department said. ‘These are groups organised into militia and “survivalist” movements – which pull out of society and take to the hills to make war on the government, and who will support anyone else making war on the government.’
FBI foils anthrax plot in U.S. White supremacist, lab owner arrested by FBI in Nevada – Page 2 – tribunedigital-baltimoresun – Vials, car taken for testing
Bacillus to be used as terror weapon, say federal charges
February 20, 1998|By Douglas M. Birch and Scott Shane | Douglas M. Birch and Scott Shane,SUN STAFF Sun news researcher Jean L. Packard contributed to this article.
The current investigation began Wednesday, when a cancer researcher called agents at the Las Vegas FBI office and told them Harris and Leavitt had asked to use the scientist’s lab equipment to test the anthrax bacillus.
The researcher, whom the FBI did not name yesterday, said Leavitt claimed to have “military-grade” anthrax in flight bags in the trunk of his car.
On Wednesday night, agents tailed Leavitt and Harris from Room 921 of the Gold Coast Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas to a meeting with the researcher at a restaurant, the FBI said. The two suspects were joined by a third man, who was not identified by authorities.
After meeting the source at the restaurant, the four men left for an office complex in Henderson. Leavitt and Harris were arrested as they left one of the offices a short time later. The cooler and Petrie dishes were seized inside.
Of all the potential biological weapons, anthrax is probably the most feared.
“Anthrax is on the top of the worry list,” said Dr. Philip K. Russell, former commander of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command at Fort Detrick and now a professor at the Hopkins School of Public Health. “That’s because the spores are so infectious and so stable, and because the disease is so hard to manage.”
Vaccines can prevent anthrax, and the early use of antibiotics can cure it. But the disease is virulent. Two pounds of the spores, expertly dispersed, could infect a major city. Once a person gets sick, the disease moves swiftly.
“If somebody comes into an emergency room with pneumonia caused by anthrax, it’s already too late,” Russell said. “It would be impossible to deal with.”
In Anthrax Probe, Questions of Skill, Motive – The Washington Post – By Peter Slevin November 5, 2001
Analysts who monitor militias and political movements on America’s far right doubt that any known domestic group was capable of launching the deadly anthrax that has left four people dead and at least 12 others sickened.
“American groups on the right tend to be small and poorly organized,” said Mark Pitcavage, who directs fact-finding for the Anti-Defamation League. “If it turns out to be a domestic extremist source, the odds are more likely it would be an individual or a small group of individuals, rather than an organization.”
Senior officials at the FBI and CIA have told reporters privately that they believe the anthrax bacteria likely came from a U.S. source. That contention, challenged by others who suspect an overseas conspiracy, leaves open a very large question: Who in the United States had the skill and the motivation to wield a germ as a weapon?
Anthrax hoaxes – Wikipedia – Anthrax hoaxes involving the use of white powder or labels to falsely suggest the use of anthrax are frequently reported in the United States and globally. Hoaxes have increased following the 2001 anthrax attacks, after which no genuine anthrax attacks have occurred. The FBI and U.S. postal inspectors have responded to thousands of “white powder events” and targets have included government offices, US embassies, banks and news organizations.