12/08/2005

The Anthrax Attacks - by Robert Pate

Interesting... -- law

The Anthrax Mystery: Solved

by Robert Pate

ON OCTOBER 4, 2001, reporters in Florida announced the first case in 25 years of a person contracting the deadly bacterium anthrax. The following day, Robert Stevens, the photo editor of the Florida-based tabloid Sun, died. His death was the beginning of the Anthrax Mystery, America’s worst—and most baffling—case of bio-terrorism. Days later, four other persons in the New York City and Washington, DC areas would die from anthrax spores that leaked from tainted letters sent through the mail. Seventeen others would become infected, and hundreds of millions of dollars would be spent on cleaning up contaminated office buildings and postal facilities. All of these events came just a few days after the tragedy of September 11. It appeared the terrorists had struck again, but this time the attack was biological.

Investigators believe seven letters containing anthrax spores were mailed. Four of the seven are thought to have been mailed on the same day and addressed to major media outlets in New York City: ABC News, CBS News, NBC News, and the New York Post. Of these, only the NBC and New York Post letters were recovered. Letters believed to be addressed to ABC News and CBS News offices caused two persons to develop anthrax infections. One was a seven-month-old boy brought in by his mother, a producer at ABC News; the other was an assistant to Dan Rather at CBS. These letters were never found and were likely discarded.

The two recovered letters did not have a return address but were postmarked September 18, 2001 in Trenton, New Jersey. These letters contained identical messages tending to indicate that the perpetrators were Islamic terrorists. The notes read, “09-11-01, THIS IS NEXT, TAKE PENACILIN [sic] NOW, DEATH TO AMERICA, DEATH TO ISRAEL, ALLAH IS GREAT.”
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The Anthrax Attacks

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