CASE CLOSED … what really happened in the 2001 anthrax attacks?

* are hoax anthrax attacks one consequence of the FBI’s failure to solve the case?

Posted by Lew Weinstein on June 16, 2009

Lew’s new novel CASE CLOSEDCC - front cover - small

explores the FBI’s failed investigation of the 2001 anthrax case …

* see CASE CLOSED VIDEO on YouTube

* purchase CASE CLOSED (paperback)

Here is a selection of stories about hoax attacks for just the last month or so. Would these be happening if the FBI had solved the 2001 case?

June 15, 2009


The Charleston Gazette Mon, 15 Jun 2009 20:50 PM PDT
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — An envelope containing white powder was delivered and opened at Kanawha Circuit Judge Paul Zakaib Jr.s office on Monday, but authorities quickly concluded it was not dangerous.

June 13, 2009


WKTV Utica Sat, 13 Jun 2009 10:51 AM PDT
SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (AP) – FBI agents created a stir in Schenectady when they swarmed an auction house wearing hazardous materials suits, reportedly to check out a suspicion that there might be anthrax in the trash at the building.

June 12, 2009


WRGB Albany Fri, 12 Jun 2009 10:15 AM PDT
Sources tell CBS6 The FBI has made an arrest near Congress and Broadway in Schenectady. The are suspicions the arrest may be connected to reports of anthrax.

June 4, 2009


Deseret News Thu, 04 Jun 2009 15:36 PM PDT
OREM — Initial tests confirm that a white powdery substance found at Utah Valley University is not anthrax or any other…

June 3, 2009


ABC Action News Tampa Bay Wed, 03 Jun 2009 13:15 PM PDT
The federal appeals court in Atlanta has upheld the six-year prison sentence of a Florida prison inmate who threatened President George W. Bush, ex-Gov. Jeb Bush and federal employees with…

May 29, 2009


The Tampa Tribune Tue, 19 May 2009 06:41 AM PDT
Law enforcement has arrested a second suspect in connection with April’s anthrax hoax.

May 27, 2009


WBAL-TV Baltimore Wed, 27 May 2009 15:07 PM PDT
Maryland State Police are trying to find the person behind the first anthrax scare they’ve had to respond to in nearly a year.

May 19, 2009


Miami News-Record Tue, 19 May 2009 08:28 AM PDT
The Miami Police Department was quarantined Friday evening after a suspected anthrax threat.

May 13, 2009


KXAN 36 Austin Wed, 13 May 2009 10:05 AM PDT
An Overland Park man has pleaded guilty of mailing the Internal Revenue Service a white powder he claimed wasanthrax. The letter was sent to the IRS in Austin and said “YOU HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO ANTHRAX DIE!” on it.

May 2, 2009


KSPR Springfield Sat, 02 May 2009 19:40 PM PDT
The Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department went into lockdown after finding a white powder believed to be anthrax.

April 27, 2009


The Tampa Tribune Mon, 27 Apr 2009 11:42 AM PDT
A suspicious white powder found in an envelope at the Hillsborough County Courthouse this afternoon is notanthrax, Tampa Fire Rescue officials said.

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60 Responses to “* are hoax anthrax attacks one consequence of the FBI’s failure to solve the case?”

  1. DXer said

    FBI searching for man suspected of attempting to contaminate food …
    http://www.fox2detroit.com/news/local-news/135513866-story

    Comment:

    This man is readily identifiable. That’s a nice haircut. If and when he is arrested later this week, do you think he will have cropped his hair short?

    I’m always amazed that more criminals don’t run.

    WASHTENAW COUNTY, Mich. (WJBK) – Detroit investigators are looking for help identifying the man in the picture above, who is suspected of trying to contaminate food in a Washtenaw County grocery store.
    The man was seen sprinkling a liquid on display carts that contained food that was not packaged.

    Analogously, hoax letters have to be one of the most stupid crimes possible — no purpose served, substantial sentence.

    White Powder Mailed to Trump NYC Campaign Office Harmless
    Friday, 29 Apr 2016 06:26 AM
    http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/white-powder-found-trump/2016/04/28/id/726372/

    • DXer said

      So what would be this fellow’s motive? Some disgruntled former employee? An employee angry at failure to resolve some consumer issue? Some University of Michigan senior, a frat boy protesting some sexually predatory Rabbi associated with Whole Foods? Known to the bartender at the wine bar?

      The smart move would be to turn himself in and place as positive a spin on things as possible. He definitely has already been reported given the great images.

      • DXer said

        Whether disgruntled employee, angry consumer, or University of Michigan senior frat boy protesting some sexually predatory Rabbi associated with Whole Foods, will he be an engineer turned in by his frat brothers? How about a $5,000 reward? That helps out a lot on a student’s book bill and living expenses.

      • DXer said

        If it is pee,which seems a real possibility, human DNA is recoverable. It would be in next month’s stupid criminal’s column.

        But authorities should move quickly given the death in Michigan from listeria from an unidentified source.

        DOJ starts criminal probe of Dole over listeria, April 29, 2016
        http://www.whio.com/news/news/crime-law/doj-starts-criminal-probe-of-dole-over-listeria/nrD96/

        The outbreak affected the health of 19 people in the U.S. and 14 people in Canada, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Among the 19 in the U.S., one man in Michigan died.

      • DXer said

        FBI: substance poured on food at Ann Arbor Whole Foods not harmful, May 2, 2016
        http://www.fox2detroit.com/news/local-news/135902914-story

        The man is believed to have contaminated the food at a salad bar inside the Whole Foods on Eisenhower on Sunday. An employee spotted the man sprinkling something on the food at the salad bar. It has some shoppers concerned that he’s done this before.

        Comment: Students are busy and often don’t follow the news. An email blast to students, with the University’s agreement, would result in his quick apprehension, I imagine.

        It makes sense to have come forward with the location (at least locality) and name of store to aid in having him identified.

        He should call in — it would help him out a lot.

  2. DXer said

    Vote thumbs up for FBI Special Agent Capone’s dogged willingness to roll up his sleeves. Kitty litter isn’t always glamorous.

    Clues in the garbage break anthrax case

    We say thumbs up to … the federal investigators for concluding a 15-year investigation by charging the person who allegedly sent threatening letters containing white powder said to be anthrax. The letters were mailed to Bishop Ludden High School, Le Moyne College, the office of then-Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle and others over the past 15 years. On Wednesday, Brian D. Norton, of Cicero, was arraigned in U.S. District Court on two felony charges, including mailing threatening communications. The FBI found handwriting clues in the suspect’s recycling bin.

    We say thumbs up to dogged detective work. What do you say?

    Do you agree?

    http://www.syracuse.com/opinion/index.ssf/2014/06/ups_and_downs_anthrax_detectives_frog_foes_cheese_defenders_and_basketball_rival.html#incart_river_default

    • DXer said

      The Post-Standard editorial blurb omits mention of the fingerprints that they found on the underside of the sticker affixed to one of the letters. I’m not the legal beagle to ask, but it seems that there will be a superseding indictment upon additional collection of evidence.

      • richard rowley said

        DXer,
        Is there a local Syracuse paper (online) that can be counted on to give a good account of this case as it proceeds to trial? I’m mostly interested in the diagnosis of what the perp had/has, and I figure that the story will die
        as a national one, especially if there’s a plea bargain. I’m guessing the guy is schizophrenic, but am willing to be mistaken….
        Thanks

    • richard rowley said

      We say thumbs up to dogged detective work. What do you say?

      Do you agree?
      ==================================
      For sure!

  3. DXer said

    Who was terrorizing schools with fake anthrax-filled letters?

    SYRACUSE, N.Y. — It was a mystery that dogged the FBI and the Syracuse area for more than 15 years: Someone was sending threatening letters filled with white powder, intended to look like anthrax.

    The FBI, U.S. Postal Inspection Service and U.S. Attorney’s office now think they have the culprit. Today, Brian D. Norton, 59, of Cicero, was arraigned in U.S. District Court on two felony charges, including mailing threatening communications.

    http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2014/06/who_was_terrorizing_area_schools_with_fake_anthrax-filled_letters.html

    Anthrax, Al Qaeda and Al Qaeda: The Infiltration of US Biodefense
    http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

    • DXer said

      How the FBI used garbage to solve a 15-year mystery of fake anthrax letters (video)

      http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2014/06/how_the_fbi_used_garbage_to_solve_a_15-year_mystery_of_fake_anthrax_letters.html#incart_m-rpt-2

    • DXer said

      U.S. Attorney: Cicero man faces federal charges after mailing 21 envelopes of white powder
      http://www.localsyr.com/story/d/story/us-attorney-cicero-man-faces-federal-charges-after/12094/v88mETAHwkK43V56x27Vsg

      According to court documents acquired by NewsChannel 9, the following letters were sent by Norton:

      • November 6, 1997 – Alumni Fund at Bishop Ludden High School (only letter to not contain a white powder, but threatened contamination of the AIDS virus)
      • May 15, 1999 – Office of Alumni at Bishop Ludden High School
      • May 15, 1999 – Office of Alumni at Le Moyne College
      • May 8, 2002 – Alumni Fund at Bishop Ludden High School
      • May 8, 2002 – Division of Institutional Advancement at Le Moyne College
      • June 3, 2002 – Alumni Fund at Bishop Ludden High School
      • June 3, 2002 – Division of Institutional Advancement at Le Moyne College
      • January 21, 2010 – Federal Bureau of Investigation
      • January 22, 2010 – Army Association of the United States in Arlington, VA
      • January 22, 2010 – Ludden Fund at Bishop Ludden High School
      • February 1, 2010 – International Association of Police in Yonkers, NY
      • February 1, 2010 – Marine Corps League in Merrifield, VA
      • February 8, 2010 – then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates at The Pentagon in Washington, D.C.
      • February 8, 2010 – ATF Department of Treasury in Washington, D.C.
      • February 8, 2010 – Senator John McCain at The Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.
      • October 18, 2010 – Victim #1 (A television personality) in West Chester, PA
      • May 6, 2011 – Victim #3 (A local Syracuse commercial business) in North Syracuse, NY
      • May 6, 2011 – Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle in Syracuse, NY
      • December 16, 2011 – Victim #7 (A resident of West Chester, PA) in West Conshohocken, PA
      • December 16, 2011 – National Navy UDT – Seal Museum in Fort Pierce, FL
      • December 16, 2011 – Victim #2 (A television personality) in West Chester, PA
      ***

      In 2002, the F.B.I. says Norton began using the names of identifiable people for the return address as a way to lead investigators down a false trail. The 10 victims used as the return address – including people in Central New York, Pennsylvania and California – were found to have no connection to the letters.

      • richard rowley said

        Well, that’s great! I was wrong about this Syracuse activity being related to my
        Amerithrax suspect. I don’t think the previous news items broke down the addressees so precisely. Especially the redundant mailings to that high school.
        I’m guessing that the culprit attended that high school. Also guessing he attended Le Moyne College at one time. The one addressee—-Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle in Syracuse, NY——-was a good indication that it was a local perpetrator. He seemed to have a fixation on: 1 high school, 1 college, armed forces/Pentagon, law enforcement, two politicians

      • DXer said

        Richard,

        As for the Syracuse letters, the detailed and lengthy affidavit by the FBI Special Agent seems to tie all the letters together in several different ways. For example, one that seems notable is that a [QVC would be my guess] tv-related personality was used as a return address on a letter to Robert Gates.

        Moreover, the (previously publicized) numerous angry letters to the Bishop Ludden and LeMoyne schools also included the anthrax claim and threat sent to others.

        But it is now June 2014. It is surprising that an arrest is only being made now if they found such unique and dramatic writing in the recycling bin in February 2013 — which seem to be very similar to the vulgar [QVC?]-related letters referring to H.P. Lovecraft.

        (There also were two latent fingerprints on associated materials among what was mailed (to include in the sticky glue on the underside of the decorative sticker “Holiday Cheer”) and on a greeting card. When did the FBI get the fingerprint results back?)

        So it will be interesting to learn more about the case.

        Upon a search of the house, I expect that there now will additional ink, paper or photocopy toner (or photocopy track marks) forensics that corroborate the Agent’s textual analysis carefully laid out in the Affidavit.

        From Affidavit –

        LATENT FINGERPRINTS FOUND ON TWO THREAT LETTERS

        The WPL postmarked January 22, 2010, comprised of a BLHS pre-printed Alumni Donation “Ludden Fund” envelope and enclosed donation card bore a decorative sticker on the pre-printed envelope not placed there by BLHS when they sent the solicitations. The decorative sticker read “Holiday Cheer” and was the peel-and-stick type. …

        On February 17, 2013, while [searching trash and recyclables] again, I found several discarded copies of the Syracuse Post Standard newspaper in an open, uncovered, street-side recycling bin. Several pages of the newspaper I recovered that day bore handwriting that is similar to the unique style of handwriting seen in the Syracuse Series WPLs, and many of the words and phrases were vulgar, similar to several of the WPLs. One page in particular bore the handwritten words, “[VICTIM #1]’s smelly maggot infested hairy ….” This is signficant because [VICTIM #1] c/o [Company name and address redacted]. That WPL contained a commercially-produced greeting card as well as several pieces of newsprint and advertisements, all of which had a large amount of vulgar, graphic handwritten threats to VICTIM #1, who is a nationally-known personality who regularly appears on television. Moreover, several other Syracuse Series WPLs involve either Victim #1, Victim #1’s company and/or television program, or other employees of Victim #1’s company. … VICTIM #`1, VICTIM #2 and VICTIM #3 all work for the same company.”

        Earlier, Agent Capone had explained that:

        “the following individuals were victimized by virtue of having their name written (with slight variation) as the addressee on a Syracuse Series WPL

        [Victim #4, a resident of Camillus, New York]
        [Victim #5, a resident of Syracuse, New York]
        [Victim #6, a resident of Brewerton, New York]
        [Victim #7, a resident of Westchester, Pennsylvania] [I think maybe a QVC host]
        [Victim #8, a resident of Beverly Hills, California] [I am guessing the host’s former husband]
        [Victim #9, a resident of Jordan, New York]
        [Victim #10, a resident of East Syracuse, New York]
        [Victim #11, a resident of Syracuse, New York ]
        [Victim #12, a resident of Skaneateles, New York]
        [Victim #13, a resident of Skaneateles, New York]

      • DXer said

        Richard,

        The person you call your “Amerithrax suspect” was not a microbiologist, had no access to virulent Ames, etc. (let alone access to powderized Ames or the ability to powderize it), and so was always a non-starter. It is pretty incredible that you blame the guy for dozens of white powder letters throughout the country. And you didn’t even know his geographic whereabouts! If you had let me contact him, I could have established that he was nowhere near any of the places. A dozen others of people’s interest were promptly eliminated when contacted — such as the Battelle vaccine manager of one poster’s interest. People cannot deny a claim or provide contrary evidence if never given the chance.

        Only the fellow’s argument that a First Grader wrote the anthrax letters is more baseless.

        Discussion of any person who did not have access to virulent Ames is a non-starter. The requirement of the blog is to support all factual claims with documentary evidence that can be uploaded and you never have. Privately you did share with me. Although I forget the name and details — because that is what you wanted — it was immediately obvious it was a non-starter given the lack of evidence of access to virulent Ames.

        As early as 2002, everyone following the true crime story recognized that access to virulent Ames was a prerequisite. As I vaguely recall your theory, your person, an IT person, allegedly walked through the department at night. Fine. Then it would be incumbent on you to post evidence that the school had virulent Ames there — indeed, powderized Ames. They didn’t have Ames — indeed, you couldn’t even show they had anthrax. End of story.

        Only Ed, the fellow who has argued for 10 years a First Grader wrote the letters would engage you on the subject without having obtained the factual particulars.

        • Lew Weinstein said

          Well said.

        • richard rowley said

          The person you call your “Amerithrax suspect” was not a microbiologist, had no access to virulent Ames, etc. (let alone access to powderized Ames or the ability to powderize it), and so was always a non-starter.
          ============================================
          Respectfully (I get enough of the reverse at another site), DXer, I’ll be wrong about a SUBSET of those mailings that are years later, both because I don’t have time to ferret out all the details, and because not all the info (postmarks, breakdowns of addressees etc.) is made public, at least in the early news items.

          But, though I won’t discuss my suspect(s) explicitly on the Internet, I can say that the linguistic affinities between/among the Amerithrax texts proper, and near contemporaneous ‘hoaxes’ are highly redundant and all-but-impossible to explain otherwise than with my (general) hypothesis: if it isn’t ‘my guy’, it’s a guy with the same VERY rare neurological condition and the same first name.

          As to the present case (Syracuse), I wasn’t just going by the proximity to NJ/NYC,
          and by what I thought was an unlikely combination of target categories (rather than one —-abortion clinics, say——or two———courthouses and police depts etc). I was going by the science fiction angle: like our ‘mutual acquaintance’, my (main) suspect is a sci-fi buff. Big time. In the past—–I ‘met’ him on the Internet over a decade ago— I found him using “Cthulhu”* as one of his screen names on a (now) long-defunct message board. He’s also written/had published a book of his own in the sci-fi genre. Yes, I know (and knew) that ‘lots’ of people like sci-fi. Believe me, when I have the time/energy I put Amerithrax proper aside and examine critically my takes on more recent cases (the Super Bowl white powder mailings, for example).

          Let me give you an example of that testing of my (here sub-)hypotheses: the Dallas/North Texas white powder mailings (last I heard unsolved and made up of
          almost 400 mailed items over the years). After some extensive Internet discussions of that subject in, I think, early 2012, I decided it was time again to ‘go huntin’: looking up via various Internet search engines the 3 main ‘suspects’. What I found was: the ‘South East accomplice’ (the guy who made possible both the St Pete hoax-letter mailings and, I believe, the ‘jihad boom’ threatening postcards) had moved. To east Texas. Coincidence? Don’t think so, but I have an open mind.

          *Cthulhu, along with lots of other sci-fi-related screen names. Mostly the names meant little to me: haven’t been into sci-fi since later teens/early 20s. Hace muchos an’os!

        • DXer said

          Like I said, Richard, while I like you, I am going to leave the fellow who thinks a First Grader wrote the letters waste more years posting exchanges with you.

          Absent access to virulent Ames, the theory is a non-starter. The idea that what you deem “linguistic affinities” overcome a lack of access to virulent Ames is baseless.

          Lew should not allow the posts because they undermine the blog at a critical juncture. Lew just deleted 40 or so of my posts — and so now if he deletes 40 of your posts we’ll be even. :0)

          Access to Ames is a requirement of any theory warranting discussion.

    • DXer said

      Affidavit from FBI Special Agent Daniel Capone:

      “After comparing these seven letters to the more recent fourteen letters, I have concluded that they likely were written by the same person and therefore appropropriately should be conisdered part of the Syracuse Series of WPLs.”

      “Individuals associated with each of the return addresses have been interviewed, some repeatedly, but I have concluded that none are responsible for sending the WPLs. It appears the sender intended that the names provided in these return addresses look like suspects to law enforcement, as part of a plan to lead law enforcement on a false trail. Moreover , each of the handwritten return names and/or addresses was slightly incorrect in some aspect, which again appears to be a purposeful tactic used by the sender to waste investigators’ time and further the apparent false trails plan.

      “Investigation to date has included analysis of internet protocol (IP) address records trash covers, analysis of the alumni mailing lists of Bishop Ludden Junior-Senior High School and LeMoyne College (totalling almost 17,000 names and addresses), analsis of customer records of a nationally-known retailer 9Victims #1, #2, #7 and #15 are all publcly-known employees of this retailer), a media appeal consisting of local and national television and newspaper coverage, and an operation using alumni solications from Bishop Ludden Junion-Senior High School.”

      “Significantly, latent fingerprints were found on two Syracuse Seies WPLs, one from January 2010 and one from December 2011. These fingerprints belong to BRIAN NORTON… who resides at — Cicero, New York (the address of the residence to be searched. NORTON has been receiving social security benefits since his mid-20s.”

      “NORTON graduated from Bishop Ludden-Junior-Senior High School and attended LeMoyne College for two years, but appears to have no employment history. NORTON does not have a driver’s license. He resides with his father, who is in his 80s. Significantly, recent trash covers at this residence have recovered several pages of newspaper bearing handwriting and vulgar wording that matches the handwriting and language used in several of the series of the Syracuse Series WPLs. Several of those newspapers also bear the handwritten names of prior victims of the Syracuse Series WPLs.”

      “In May 2002, BLHS received in the mail another pre-printed ALUMNI FUND envelope and donation card, and included inside the envelope was a newspaper article regarding the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. This envelope was postmarked May 8, 2992 in Syracuse, New York. Handwritten upon the newspaper article was the following text:

      PRAISE ALLAH FOR SEPT. 11
      YOU ARE NEXT ANTHRAX ENCLOSED CIPRO NO GOOD
      {hand drawn picture of an eye)
      WE ARE WATCHING YOU
      HAHA
      PRAISE ALLAH NO MORE WTC DEATH TO CHRISTANS + JEWS
      DEATH TO ISRAEL DEATH TO AMERICA.

      “The text, written on the May 8, 2002 WPL appears to mimic a threat mailed to the New York Post and NBC News in the widely-publicized AMERITHRAX case of September 2001.”

      • richard rowley said

        This is what the profilers typically call ‘a disorganized offender’. I hope he gets psychiatric treatment.

    • DXer said

      “On the same day, also postmarked on May 8, 2002 in Syracuse, New York, a pre-printed Alumni Donation envelope and alumni donation was mailed to LeMoyne College, Division of Institutional Advancement. In addition to the pre-printed alumni donation card, the envelope also included a newspaper clipping of a story regarding the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and various clippings from the Examiner tabloid magazine. Handwritten upon the newspaper clipping was the following text:

      PRAISE ALLAH FOR SEPT. 11
      YOU ARE NEXT
      WE (hand drawn picture of an eye)
      WATCHING YOU
      DEATH TO ISRAEL
      DEATH TO CRUSADE MASSOUD ANTHRAX IN ENVELOPE
      YOU DIE
      CIPRO NO GOOD
      PRAISE ALLAH NO MORE WTC
      PRAISE ALLAH

      This text, written on the May. 8 , 2002 WPL appears to mimic a threat mailed to Senators Daschle and Leahy in the widely-publicized AMERITHRAX case of September 2001.”

    • DXer said

      On June 3, 2002 two more letters were mailed from Syracuse. One was mailed to the BLHS Alumni Fund and bore the following handwritten text:

      OSAMA BIN LADEN LIVES
      ANTHRAX SPORES IN ENVELOPE!
      DEATH FOR YOU!
      HAIL AL-QAIDA!

      The other was mailed to the LeMoyne College Division of Institutional Management and bore handwriting upon the pre-printed alumni donation card which read:

      “LOEB, BERNSTEIN + GOLDBERG, ATTORNEY [address redacted], SYRACUSE, NY 13208.” Investigation revealed that there is no such law firm at that address nor at any other address. Both the BLHS and the LeMoyne letters bore the same handwritten return address which read: [Victim #5], [address redacted], SYRACUSE, NEW YORK 13208.” Investigation revealed that there was no such person at that address. There was a Mrs. [Victim #5] who lived in a nearby house on the same street, but she had no knowledge of these letters and was not suspected of having any involvement.”

    • DXer said

      Then there are some very vulgar letters with references to H.P. Lovecraft.

      FBI Special Agent reasons that they are related thusly:

      “SIMILARITIES THAT IDENTIFY THESE LETTERS AS BELONGING TO THE SYRACUSE SERIES”

      “Several different characteristics of the above-described letters are very similar, and I have concluded that the same author likely wrote and sent all 21 letters, which I have dubbed “The Syracuse Series.” The handwriting appearing on the letters has evolved slightly over the sixteen years since they were first discovered, however, the handwriting has evolved slowly and very strong similarities are readily observable from each letter to the next occurring letter. Each of the WPLs has been mailed from, and postmarked from, the Syracuse, New York postal area. Almost all fo the WPLs have borne a return addresssee and return address written on the outside of the envelope. In every instance, the return addressee’s names have been very similar to, but not identical to, an identifiable person. In every instance, the return addresses names have been very similar to, but not identical to, an identifable house, residence, or mailing address. Thus, all of the return addresses appear to be red herrings , and all appear to have been purposefully altered (i.e., slightly misspelling the person’s name, or listing a numerical street address which is false, but is physically very close to a real address. Many of the letters repeat similar phrases not commonly used in typical communication. For example, beginning in January 2010 many WPLs bore the phrases, “The paper [and other materials] that you are holding in your hands have been thoroughly coated [or contaminated] with ANTHRAX spores!” and “… hopefully you and those around you will soon die a slooow (sic) and painful death from ANTHRAX.” And “Soon you will die! We have launched our attack! Die!! Die!!! Die !!”

    • DXer said

      Guessing at some of the redactions in the detailed and lengthy affidavit by the FBI Special Agent, my sense is that the fellow watched too much Martha Stewart on QVC and that the letters are tied together nicely by his use of some related return addresses and the alumni fundraising cards. But given the number of letters, the analysis is a bit complicated. Perhaps on the search they found additional dramatic evidence.

    • DXer said

      Although the subjects of his letters ranged pretty widely (to include AIDS and abortion) it is the “flatulent female naked ape defecator” that stands out as particularly colorful and dramatic in terms of linguistic analysis.

      “On March 3, 2013 several discarded copies of the Syracuse Post Standard newspaper were recovered from the street-side recycling bin. Amongst the newspapers was a copy of the Syracuse Post Standard Television Guide section, which includes a crossword puzzle. Handwritten in ink in the black (unused) sections within the crossword puzzle were the words,” … flatulent female naked ape defecators [VICTIM #7) … ….. This language matches some of the handwritten language found in the Syracuse Series WPLs mailed to VICTIM #1 (mailed on October 18, 2010, containing the text, “…flatulent female naked ape defecators ….”) VICTIM #2 (mailed on December 16, 2011, containing the text, “… flatulent female naked ape defecator…”) and VICTIM #7 (mailed on December 16, 2011, containing the text, “..flatulent female naked ape defecator…”)

      see generally

      The Naked Ape: A Zoologist’s Study of the Human Animal [Paperback]
      by Desmond Morris
      http://www.amazon.com/The-Naked-Ape-Zoologists-Animal/dp/0385334303/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1402507963&sr=8-1&keywords=Naked+Ape

    • DXer said

      “We all feel a lot safer’: school officials terrorized by fake anthrax letter relieved by arrest

      http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2014/06/we_all_feel_a_lot_safer_school_terrorized_by_fake_anthrax_letters.html#incart_river_default

    • DXer said

      Here is a copy of the Complaint.

      United States v. Brian Norton,
      http://www.cnycentral.com/uploadedfiles/wstm/news/stories/brian%20norton%20criminal%20complaint%20details.pdf

    • DXer said

      It was someone named Brian Norton who in December 6, 1972 letter to the editor (who gave the defendant’s address) who took issue with the Cicero public schools, which he says he once attended. The letter to the editor was titled “Chaos is Norm at Cicero High.” “As a former student of Cicero High School, he wrote to address “some of the perversity that exists inside the school edifice to the public that was hitherto concealed.”:

      “Although smoking, lying on the floor, sauntering about the halls, and going to lockers at certain times of the day are prohibited, there are only half-hearted penalties to dissuade students from committing these acts.”

      [The affidavit notes that two different addresses have historically referred to the same house; It is at a cross-street of Lincoln and Central; and it is in Cicero/Clay].

      And it is a Brian D. Norton from Cicero that wrote on the occasion of the anniversary of Kennedy’s birthday, noting that “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

      His letters to the editor are erudite, even overly so.

  4. richard rowley said

    Here are the lyrics of the Scooby Doo theme song:

    Scooby Dooby Doo, where are you
    We’ve got some work to do now
    Scooby Dooby Doo, where are you
    We need some help from you now
    Come on Scooby Doo, I see you
    Pretending you’ve got a sliver
    You’re not foolin’ me ’cause I can see
    The way you shake and shiver

    You know we got a mystery to solve
    So Scooby Doo get ready for your act
    Don’t hold back, ’cause Scooby Doo
    When you come through you’re gonna have yourself
    A Scooby Snack, that’s a fact

    Scooby Dooby Doo, where are you
    You’re ready and you’re willin’
    If we can count on you Scooby Doo
    I know we’ll catch the villain
    =======================================================
    It seems a playful way of challenging the authorities to ‘catch the villain’.

    And the original run of the TV show was:

    Scooby Doo, Where Are You! (1969–1972)

    This from IMDB, so perhaps you should look for someone who was fairly young in those years. A viewer.
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0063950/

    • DXer said

      Maybe you want to ask Zacarias Moussaoui who gave him his “Scooby Doo” boxer shorts. Or ask Zacarias’ friend Yazid Sufaat. The Scooby Doo shorts were taken from his hotel room along with the cropdusting manuals.

      Anthrax, Al Qaeda and Ayman Zawahiri: The Infiltration Of US Biodefense
      http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

    • DXer said

      The Scooby Doo shorts were seized from Moussaoui’s motel. See Defense Exhibit 922. That same week, on September 18, 2001, the FBI accessed the email account Al Qaeda anthrax lab director had given Moussaoui greenlabs@usa.com

      In the prosecution, the FBI Agent noted that the Scooby Doo boxer shorts were made in Pakistan.

      Yazid Sufaat saw Zacarias Moussaoui off at the airport.

      Al Qaeda anthrax lab tech Yazid Sufaat discusses Zacarias Moussaoui in this 2011 French language television interview
      Posted by Lew Weinstein on March 28, 2012
      https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2012/03/28/al-qaeda-anthrax-lab-tech-yazid-sufaat-discusses-zacarias-moussaoui-in-this-2001-french-language-television-interview/

      That raises the question: Where is Jdey? The lead CIA analyst has said that Jdey was detained as the same time as Moussaoui (where I don’t know) and then released. (I believe that either the CIA analyst in his Harvard WMD report is either grievously mistaken in the footnote (and failed to correct himself on the issue when it was highlighted) or that Jdey was detained at a different location. My friend Ken brought suit against FBI to explore the issue under FOIA. I pretty much rule out Jdey at the same immigration center because I’ve seen the underlying 302s which refer only to Moussaoui and the former roommate who drove him.

      Jdey was part of the 911 Planes Operation — closely connected to KSM, Hambali and Hawsawi — but then pulled back to do something else. He disappeared from Montreal by mid-September 2001.

      There is a $5 million reward offered. Ken’s Jdey Theory is a fine hypothesis — I have let him run with it and given him full credit only because he thought of it first and that merits some props. When he laid it out for me in 2003 or so I was very impressed and kicking myself for not seeing its strength earlier. In contrast, I favor a Shukrijumah-as-mailer-hypothesis only because there is evidence of travel coming from Sufaat and KSM AFTER Sufaat’s months of work with virulent anthrax (along with his two assistants).

      But you might want to go back to your blog with the fellow who argues a First Grader wrote the letters. And join him on focusing on a profile about some First Grader or adult who has watched Scooby Doo cartoons. And judge for yourself whether you are wasting your time.

      As we speak, I’m loading up the Scooby Doo “Mystery Van” — complete with matching Scooby T-shirts for the team — to go looking in Yonkers for Dutch Schultz’s missing millions. He had a secret residence there which now is a co-ed dorm at a college. When the team and I knock on that sorority door, we’ll hopefully be wearing our matching Scooby Doo boxer shorts.

      Now if only the “Mystery Van” wasn’t awaiting a new engine.

      Anthrax, Ayman Zawahiri and Al Qaeda: The Infiltration Of US Biodefense
      http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

  5. DXer said

    It turns out that the Tom Thumb employee who got the help from Ashley was not the right person. Apparently there is more than one person who has used the word “ignorant” and “arrogant” to describe the FBI. But he was just a citizen exercising his right to complain to a public official. So the except I provide is from a new story explaining that turned out not to be the fellow.

  6. DXer said

    Did you hear about the stupid criminal wearing rubber gloves who asked the worker to correct his spelling of the word “arrogant” and “Ignorant” in a letter to the FBI that he asked her to type for him?

    More White Powder Letters Received; Suspicious Man Reported
    $150,000 reward issued for white powder sender on Wednesday

    http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/Two-More-White-Powder-Letters-Received-Thursday-151871705.html

    • DXer said

      Um… er… Ashley… girlfriend.. why on earth would you type such a thing?

      http://www.fbi.gov/dallas/press-releases/2012/image/white-powder-letter-sample-high-res-05-16-12

    • DXer said

      Review of Tom Thumb retail location at that address.

      “And now we truly see why that, is how the cookie crumbles.”

      http://maps.google.com/maps/place?cid=5532532017539790938&q=Tom+Thumb,+Preston+Road,+Dallas,+TX&hl=en&ved=0CC4Q2QY&sa=X&ei=sDy1T6K5I4WI8Qabs-2bCw

    • DXer said

      Excerpt:

      The identity of the person sending white powder letters to hundreds of locations across the country remains a mystery Thursday.

      The United States Postal Inspector said a letter recovered from a PostNet store Thursday morning does not match the style of previous white powder letters — and it didn’t contain any powder.

      Investigators don’t believe the man was trying to be a copycat, rather he was simply airing his grievances with local officials. The letters were determined not to be threatening and the sender will face no charges, officials said.

      Thursday’s investigation began after an employee of the PostNet store on the 18000-block of Preston Road alerted officials to a suspicious customer who asked for help with an angry letters to the FBI and Plano mayor.

      The most recent letter was still at the facility and was turned over to authorities Thursday morning.

      A Plano HAZMAT team was dispatched to the store and was later cleared.

      Ashly Mason, the employee at the PostNet location, said a regular customer who frequently visited for copies came in twice recently wearing rubber gloves . On a visit last week, the man asked her to correct his spelling on the words “arrogant” and “ignorant” in a letter to the FBI that he asked her to type for him.

      On Wednesday, he left another letter, which was addressed to the mayor of Plano, to be mailed the next day.

      Mason said that night she saw the FBI’s description of the man they believe is responsible for mailing out nearly 400 white powder letters over the last four years and that she felt the description matched her customer perfectly.

      Thursday morning, Mason put the man’s letter to the mayor aside and called the authorities.

      Officials said that while that man wasn’t the man they were looking for, Mason and PostNet did the right thing in sharing their suspicions.

      On Wednesday, the FBI and U.S. Postal Inspector issued a $150,000 reward for information leading to the capture and conviction of the sender, whom FBI experts believe is from North Texas, at least 30 years old, may have a history of mental challenges and likely does not have a mastery of the English language. There have been no fingerprints on the letters, leading investigators to believe the man uses gloves when preparing and mailing the letters.

      Letters containing white powder invoke fear in the recipients after five people were killed and more than a dozen were injured when letters laced with anthrax spores were mailed to offices in the days and weeks after Sept. 11, 2001.

      Since then, hundreds of hoax letters have been received nationwide at schools, banks and other businesses. Though they’ve been harmless, anyone receiving a white powder letter is advised to evacuate the area and call 911.

      Earlier Thursday, a white powder letter was reported at about 8:30 a.m. on the 6th floor of the Frank Crowley Courts Building in Dallas. The building was not evacuated and no injuries were reported, Dallas Fire-Rescue said. Tests on the powder determined it posed no threat.

  7. DXer said

    Ah, yes, just like we have cute, memorable names for bank robbers, now we have the “Scooby Doo” letters.

    5:32 PM EDT, Wednesday May 16, 2012
    FBI Offers $150K Reward In White Powder ‘Scooby Doo’ Letters

    The FBI is offering a reward of up to $150,000 for information leading to the culprit behind a series of mysterious letters containing a harmless white powder that have been sent from the Dallas area to day care centers and elementary schools in several other states.

    Authorities think it is “highly likely” that the letters were sent by the same person who has mailed over 380 letters since late 2008.

    The recent batch of 20 letters mentions al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden and Nazis, though the FBI believes such references were “included for shock value rather than to express any sincere sympathy or affiliation.”

    “Al Qaeda back! Special thing for you,” the letter states. “What the hell where are you, Scooby Doo, Counter Intelligence, CIA, you do not know how to catch the triple dealer spy in your law enforcement.”

    Sample letter embedded below, hi-res version here.

    http://www.fbi.gov/dallas/press-releases/2012/image/white-powder-letter-sample-high-res-05-16-12

    Comment: The media refers to reference to Nazis when actually the reference is to “S.S. Nazi FBI.” Media reporting should conform to the documentary evidence — not the press release. Otherwise, it introduces a confusion (that you can bet will now be repeated 250 times).

    • DXer said

      “Scooby Doo” was actually the smallest victim of the anthrax letters.

      As explained in the National Enquirer’s “The Little Dog Who’s Licking Terrorism,” featuring anthrax’s “littlest victim,” Scooby Doo, the 4-and-a-half pound, year-old poodle owned by Enquirer editor David Perel. Perel was understandably rattled when he realized that two of his children had been in the American Media building around the time of the anthrax exposure: “Then it hit me—Scooby Doo was in the building too!”

      Scooby was put on antibiotics.

      The plot thickens.

      • DXer said

        Scooby Doo was playing at Robert Stevens desk.

        http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2002-10-04/news/0210040086_1_anthrax-victims-bob-stevens-mail/2

        David Perel, 42, editor-in-chief at AMI’s National Enquirer, was horrified enough a year ago to learn that one of his co-workers had died, another was sickened and his offices would be shut down because of anthrax contamination. But then he remembered that his wife, two of his three children, even his dog, had been to visit him at work one recent Saturday. Even worse, his kids had been playing with the teacup poodle puppy, Scooby-Doo, at Stevens’ tainted desk. All, including Scooby-Doo, would have to go on preventative antibiotics.

        His wife, Jill Perel, also 42, almost died from the experience.

        Within days of taking her first tablet of Cipro, Perel suffered crippling headaches and dizziness that left her bedridden. She ended up in the hospital, where her health declined so sharply during a three-day period that doctors put her in an isolation unit and barred visitors, even flowers, in her room.

        “It was killing her immune system,” David Perel said. “The whole thing was such a nightmare.”

        Once she was taken off Cipro, Jill Perel started rebounding and has since made a complete recovery. But the experience left the family anxious over their health. Their youngest daughter, Blaire, then 10, had skipped a few doses of Amoxicillin, another antibiotic to ward off anthrax, and spiked a severe fever that left her vomiting and delirious.

        “David and I completely freaked out,” Jill Perel said. “We were completely convinced she had anthrax.”

        The fever, from a routine virus, was temporary, but the fear was lasting. The Perels said they will never get over the injury anthrax delivered to their sense of security, especially coming so soon after the Sept. 11 attacks.

    • richard rowley said

      I recently had occasion to reexamine this case(Dallas white powder mailings). And I thought DXer might have an idea of how to suss out the (purposely) obscured part of the text. I say that because you and our ‘mutual acquaintance’
      have had instances in which you had to guess about a redaction or redactions in
      Amerithrax documents. Thanks in either case!

      http://www.fbi.gov/dallas/press-releases/2012/fbi-and-u.s.-postal-inspection-service-announce-reward-for-information-leading-to-the-arrest-and-conviction-of-the-person-s-responsible-for-the-recent-mailings-of-white-powder-letters-in-the-north-texas-area

  8. DXer said

    So to recap, the FBI is offering $150,000 for the fellow who is interested in Al Qaeda, CIA Counterintelligence, alleged FBI incompetence and arrogance, anthrax, triple agents and Scooby Doo.

    The mailer wrote in one of several hundred letters, “Al Qaeda back! Special thing for you.”

    In others, he wrote, “What the hell where are you, Scooby Doo , Internal Affairs, FBI, you don’t know how to arrest the bad cop in your law enforcement.”

    In yet another, he wrote, “You all flaming idiot, ignorant and arrogant, know nothing! How to protect this country! U.S.A”

    He also wrote about a “triple dealer spy in your law enforcement.”

    I have ventured that the mailer — whatever his motive (girls don’t do this sort of thing) — would be a reader of this blog at some point.

    In particular, to focus the hunt of IPs, the FBI might go directly to whoever clicked through to this picture of my Scooby Doo Mystery Van.

    As a rule, only good friends will actually click through and vote as a favor upon request.

    Thus, you want to find the person who clicked through and then DIDN’T vote for Scooby Doo.

    And if you find someone who voted for the First Grader, well, you may just have your man.

    To be honest, both photos were mine. I’m diabolical that way. Just ask Ed.

    I can assure you that the number of people who clicked through will be extremely small and so there would be no eyestrain involved.

    The actual URLs here are no longer valid but the server at the bubble contest sponsoring the contest will have the archives from the previous year’s contest.

    Quite a few of the photos entered in the contest were mine. Hey, what can I say. I play to win. Especially if it involves a cool T-shirt or involves buried treasure.

    “March 16, 2011 at 4:41 am
    Although not a rabbit, was this 1983 VW “Mystery Van” used to mail the anthrax letters?
    Vote for the photo if you think it wasn’t,
    http://www.funrise.com/photocontest/photo.aspx?id=030416453720
    and if you think it was, vote for the photo of a First Grader giving Ed the thumbs up.
    http://www.funrise.com/photocontest/photo.aspx?id=030713352858
    Oh, heck, Old Atlantic, vote for them both and I’ll get the kid to share the prize with ya.”

    • DXer said

      FBI: One Person Behind 380 U.S. White Powder Scares Updated May 16, 2012 8:33pm

      May 16, 2012 7:52pm | By Jess Wisloski, DNAinfo Weekend Editor

      An FBI image of evidence in the case. FBI officials said the letters containing white powder that were sent to two Manhattan schools came from a man in Texas. (FBI)

      NEW YORK CITY — Law enforcement officials are searching for one person they say is responsible for mailing 380 suspicious envelopes to elementary, middle and high schools, as well as government offices and other institutions across the U.S., the FBI announced Wednesday.

      Two elite lower Manhattan schools, which received envelopes containing white powder last Thursday, May 10, were among those terrorized by the mysterious substance sent out last week with a North Texas postmark, a source told DNAinfo.com New York.

      The substance, which was discovered at P.S. 234 in TriBeCa and NEST+m on the Lower East Side, turned out to be harmless, police said.

      But in March, P.S. 290 on the Upper East Side was also plagued with a delivery of a non-hazardous powdered substance. And on Monday, April 30, five Manhattan branches of Wells Fargo banks, and the Midtown offices of JP Morgan Chase, as well as Mayor Bloomberg’s office Downtown, received envelopes with powder inside.

      Read more: http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20120516/tribeca/one-person-behind-380-white-powder-scares-fbi-says#ixzz1v8vFDXXH

    • DXer said

      Manchester White Powder Might Have Come From Texas

      BY HILDA MUÑOZ, The Hartford Courant
      11:46 a.m. EDT, May 17, 2012

      MANCHESTER—

      Lydia Maese, a special agent and a spokeswoman with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Dallas, said some of the letters mailed out of Texas were sent to Connecticut.

  9. DXer said

    http://www.fbi.gov/dallas/press-releases/2012/fbi-and-u.s.-postal-inspection-service-announce-reward-for-information-leading-to-the-arrest-and-conviction-of-the-person-s-responsible-for-the-recent-mailings-of-white-powder-letters-in-the-north-texas-area

    “During the week of May 7, 2012, over 20 letters containing white powder were received by early childhood development centers, elementary schools, and an aerospace-related business. These letters were received in Texas and several other states. The FBI, USPIS, local law enforcement, and local fire department hazardous materials teams responded to each location and field screened the letters for the presence of toxins or poisons. To date, none of the mailings have contained hazardous materials.

    Each letter was sent through the U.S. mail and featured a postmark from North Texas. It is highly likely these letters were sent by the same person responsible for mailing over 380 letters, beginning in late 2008, each of which contained a non-hazardous substance. This person has sent letters to elementary, middle, and high schools; day care centers; churches; government offices; U.S. Embassies abroad; restaurants; and other private businesses. A sample letter is posted below.

    The author has and continues to reference subjects such as al Qaeda and the Nazi SS, which is believed to have been included for shock value rather than to express any sincere sympathy or affiliation. In a recent letter, he used the terms “Scooby Doo” and “triple dealer spy” and made reference to CIA counterintelligence and FBI internal affairs.

    The sender has taken steps to conceal his activities and prevent law enforcement from finding physical evidence of his crimes, including his fingerprints. A flyer announcing the reward along with possible details about the subject has been posted on the Dallas FBI website (www.fbi.gov/dallas) and on the USPIS website (postalinspectors.uspis.gov).”

    • DXer said

      http://www.fbi.gov/dallas/press-releases/2012/image/white-powder-letter-sample-high-res-05-16-12

      • DXer said

        Whatever you do, don’t tell Ed that in December 2010 I bought 3 Scooby Doo “Mystery Van” T-shirts in metal gift boxes at Kohl’s in Fayetteville. I can’t remember if I mentioned it and would have to google.

      • DXer said

        But especially don’t tell Ed that in December 2010 I bought the Scooby Doo Mystery Machine (a 1983 Vanagon) and had it shipped on a truck from Michigan. (It was vintage and I didn’t know how it would fare on such a long trip — currently, it is never driven outside the 100 mile AAA towing range). The T-shirts were for the crew who would take the Mystery Machine out to solve mysteries.

        Hmm… the more I think on it, this is becoming quite a nice mystery.

      • DXer said

        Time for a theme song:

      • DXer said

        But here is a mention by me of the Scooby Doo Mystery Van — and a picture — from March 2011. I don’t see an earlier mention offhand but will have to look further.

        “March 16, 2011 at 4:41 am
        Although not a rabbit, was this 1983 VW “Mystery Van” used to mail the anthrax letters?
        Vote for the photo if you think it wasn’t,
        http://www.funrise.com/photocontest/photo.aspx?id=030416453720
        and if you think it was, vote for the photo of a First Grader giving Ed the thumbs up.
        http://www.funrise.com/photocontest/photo.aspx?id=030713352858
        Oh, heck, Old Atlantic, vote for them both and I’ll get the kid to share the prize with ya.”

        Note: Old Atlantic — bless him — confirmed that he voted.

        So if possible I recommend that the FBI obtain the IPs from Texas (or otherwise) that visited the March 16, 2011 post. Each post has a separate web address, I think. It is important as to this subpage at least to gather all the IPs because you could have a situation where someone then is communicating someone who is the mailer. Logically, you could have someone reading the page at one location and then just sharing it or something.

  10. DXer said

    This is a good article:

    May 16th, 2012 COREY PEIN | News

    A Blizzard of Hoaxes

    Documents reveal details about white-powder mailings, and how they tie up government responders.

    http://www.wweek.com/portland/article-19210-a_blizzard_of_hoaxes.html

  11. DXer said

    Susan Chira, New York Times Editor, Targeted With Anthrax Swastika Hoax

    Posted: 05/10/2012 12:17 pm Updated: 05/10/2012 12:30 pm

    The New York Times, NY Crime, Anthrax, Anthrax-Hoax, Assistant Managing Editor, Assistant Managing Editor Of The Times, New-York-Times-Anthrax, Susan Chira, New York News
    Anthrax

    Assistant Managing Editor of The New York Times Susan Chira received an envelope bearing a swastika sticker with skulls and bones labeled “weaponized Anthrax” at her Upper West Side residence on Wednesday evening.

    Chira’s husband Michael Shapiro, a writer and professor at Columbia University, discovered the envelope, which contained a white powder (it was later found to be a hoax).

    Chira is a 30-year veteran of the Times and was formerly the paper’s foreign editor.

    In 2009, Chira detailed in an interview the difficulties in reporting the Israeli-Palestinian conflict because of readers’ propensity to scrutinize “how we label the combatants, how we characterize the conflict and its history, when we use the word terrorist and when we do not, our use of photographs,” and concluded that the Times makes it a point to cover both sides of a conflict. “Our job,” Chira wrote, ” as we see it, is to provide the evidence from which readers can make up their own minds. I’m afraid we will never be able to satisty [sic] those who want us to come down firmly on their side.”

    The NYPD is investigating the incident as a possible hate crime.

    In October, the Times’ Rio de Janeiro bureau received an envelope postmarked from New York City that tested positive for anthrax.

    • DXer said

      ‘NY Times’ Rio Bureau Gets Anthrax Letter

      Oct. 19
      A reporter for The New York Times in Rio de Janeiro received a envelope that tested positive for anthrax, the paper said today, bringing to two the number of instances involving anthrax in letters outside the United States.

      The letter at the Times bureau in Rio de Janeiro initially tested positive for anthrax, according to Brazilian authorities. Additional tests are being performed.

      The letter was postmarked Oct. 5 from New York City, and received at the bureau on Oct. 16, the Times said in a statement.

      It was left unopened when an employee noticed the letter had no return address. The employee then put the letter in a secure plastic bag and turned over to Brazilian authorities.

      All four employees in the Rio bureau were tested for anthrax and given Cipro as a preventive measure, the Times said.

      Better News in Kenya

      The letter received at the Times comes a day after a Kenyan national become the first confirmed anthrax exposure outside the United States after receiving a piece of suspicious mail.

      Fears of a large-scale attack were allayed today when officials announced that two other letters suspected of containing anthrax tested negative.

      Kenyan Health Minister Sam Ongeri told reporters in Nairobi today that although the “overall sample” for the two letters had tested negative, health officials were testing four other suspicious letters.

      One of the two letters that had tested negative had been mailed to a U.N. official from Pakistan. However, the director general of Pakistan’s Health Ministry said Pakistan had no facilities to produce anthrax.

      Bioterror in South Asia

      Concerns also hit the Pakistani capital of Islamabad today, when the British High Commission turned over a “suspicious” letter to Pakistani health officials. An embassy employee who opened the letter was taken to a city hospital for tests.

      A doctor at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Science in Islamabad told ABCNEWS that the male embassy employee had tested negative for anthrax. The employee would however stay in hospital under observation for a while, the doctor added.

      Suspicious letters containing powdery substances have been cited around the world as a combination of panic and hoaxes succeeded in putting staff at post offices and government buildings on edge.

      Anthrax panic gripped the British and Australian embassies in the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo today when suspicious mail from both embassies was handed over to health officials for investigations.

      With 18 years of civil war between the country’s majority Sinhalese population and Tamil separatists led by the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam), a terrorist organization notorious for its suicide bombers and its recent attack on the Colombo airport, the diplomatic community in Sri Lanka is on high alert.

      Disruption in Britain

      In a rare disruption of proceedings in Britain’s parliament, opening was delayed by an hour today after a suspicious package reportedly containing white powder was discovered in the members’ post office at the House of Commons.

      A spokesman for Scotland Yard said the package was being investigated.

      Briton Claire Fletcher, 27, an assistant to CBS anchorman Dan Rather in New York, had tested positive for cutaneous anthrax after coming in contact with mail believed to have been sent to Rather.

      Neighbors Not Envious, Just Cautious

      Postal officials in many Latin American countries, which share a geographic proximity with the United States and many of whose populations work in the United States, have taken extra precautions and have issued protective gloves and gas masks to a number of workers. The additional precautions came as thousands of calls about suspicious mail were received across the region.

      The United States’ northern neighbor took the unusual step of overriding the patent for Cipro, an antibiotic to treat anthrax, which is held by German-based pharmaceutical Bayer A.G. The move was severely criticized by Bayer officials, but the Canadian government stands by its decision.

      “These are extraordinary and unusual times,” a spokeswoman for Health Canada told reporters. “Canadians expect and demand that their government will take all the necessary steps to protect their health and safety.”

      Despite pleas from some U.S. senators to follow in Canada’s footsteps, the United States has resisted such a move.

      In India, where patent laws allow companies to produce versions of drugs patented in the West without paying patent fees in an effort to keep drug prices down, nearly 80 Indian drug companies sell Cipro at a thirtieth of their price in the United States.

      India is the world’s fourth largest manufacturer of drugs and offers them at some of the world’s lowest prices.

      Some of the major Indian pharmaceutical firms have offered to sell Cipro to the United States at cheap rates but the United States has still to respond to the offers.

      Indian officials have confirmed that suspicious mail was delivered to an air base and atomic research facility in western India. But health officials have said they were in a position to treat anthrax cases, should they occur.

  12. DXer said

    FBI: Hundreds of letters with white power likely the work of someone in Texas; $150,000 rewar

    By Associated Press, Published: May 16

    DALLAS — The FBI says it suspects the mailings of hundreds of envelopes containing white powder over the last four years are the work of someone in Texas.

    The FBI released a statement Wednesday saying the letters contain postmarks from North Texas and similar references to subjects such as al-Qaida and Nazis. A $150,000 reward is being offered for information leading to a conviction in the case.

    More than 380 threatening letters in envelopes containing white powder have shown up across the U.S. and overseas since 2008. Last week, more than 20 were mailed to daycare centers, elementary schools and an aerospace-related business in Texas and other states.

    Tests showed the powder wasn’t hazardous.

    The letters also have been sent to government offices, churches, schools, restaurants and U.S. embassies overseas.

    • DXer said

      In the past, I haven’t posted — and usually don’t even read — articles about hoax letters. Ironically, I think that they shouldn’t report them and should just be triple-bagged and forgotten in the usual instance. For example, I don’t think any salafist-jihadist would send to a school or day care. That would violate even Awlaki’s construction of the hadiths.

      But I should play catch-up and collect the articles. Bounty hunting is almost as fun as treasure hunting.

      Considering the forensics that apply may illustrate many of the scientific inquiries that have not yet been the subject of disclosure and review in Amerithrax.

      Nato missions receive letters containing suspicious powder

      Shakeel Anjum
      Thursday, May 17, 2012

      ISLAMABAD: Some of the Nato foreign missions in Pakistan, including Australia, Britain and France, on Wednesday evening received suspicious letters containing black powder, intelligence and police sources said.

      The sources said that the Australian and British High Commissions as well as the French Embassy reported to the police about receiving these letters containing black powder with three-line phrasing “Nato supply must not be restored.”

      The police authorities, confirming the report, said that samples of the powder had been sent to laboratory for examination. However, they indicated that it was not anthrax powder but did not rule out the possibility of it being some biological or explosive material.

      It is worth mentioning that a letter was received at the Prime Minister’s Secretariat on October 18 last year, containing anthrax powder and its was sent from the Jamshoro University Campus in Sindh. British High Commission, when contacted, said: “There was an incident at the High Commission which has now been resolved. Nobody was harmed,” he confirmed.

      AFP adds: Senior Pakistani security officials confirmed that the French embassy and the Australian and British High Commissions in Islamabad had received suspicious packages, and other diplomatic missions may also have been targeted.

      “Embassies have received one sachet each. It is in a meager quantity and not enough even to test. The substance looked like kohl, a powdered black cosmetic commonly used in South Asia. It seems somebody has committed some mischief. We are sending it for laboratory analysis,” Islamabad police chief Bani Amin told AFP.

    • DXer said

      FBI officials believe they’ve curbed white powder scares

      By KATU.com Staff Published: May 11, 2012 at 12:52 PM PDT

      PORTLAND, Ore. – FBI officials believe they have stopped the stream of threatening envelopes containing white powder.

      FBI spokeswoman Beth Anne Steele issued a press release on Friday that stated “the FBI and its local partners believe they have stopped the sender or senders’ ability to continue this stream of threats.”

      KATU News reporter Angelica Thornton called Steele and asked her to clarify that statement. However, Steele did not comment on whether there had been an arrest or anyone in custody.

      The FBI press release reassured that there is no known risk to public safety from the white powder in the envelopes that were delivered to several different Portland locations. A test showed that the substance was non-toxic.

      Even though the powder is harmless, anyone responsible for the hoax would face severe penalties, including up to 10 years in prison for sending a threatening communication through the mail and up to five years for a hoax device.

      The most recent cases involving two different locations happened on Thursday. The first letter was found in the Market Center building near Southwest 4th Avenue and Market Street. The second scare took place at the Marquam Plaza Building at 2525 Southwest 3rd.

      In addition, two envelopes were found on Wednesday and two more on Thursday. The FBI is also investigating white powder hoaxes at Lloyd Center mall on Tuesday and at the Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse on April 26.

      In all of the cases, the envelopes were addressed to human resources offices and “anthrax” written either directly on the envelope or in a two-page letter in the envelope.

  13. DXer said

    The Schenectady story was not a “hoax attack” but rather an apparent false alarm. It involved a vial of anthrax vaccine found abandoned in material from a storage unit — abandoned with a passport and writing with Arabic (and a Quran). There has been no report on the nature of the Arabic writing — whether it was innocuous or cause for alarm. The 20 agents at the scene and 7 hour search, with some in Hazmat, provoked some comment (for example by the Pentagon policy analyst Armchair Generalist). But without knowing of the context or the substance of the writing in Arabic, the public is not well-situated to know anything much about the circumstances that led to the apparent false alarm.

    There was a fun report out of that area by a blogger about some loose talk by a federal agent about an anthrax investigation in that area (the agent reportedly was at a bar). But I have no way to know what to make of it and did not bother to pursue it given the lack of any corroboration.

    That area was the subject of a sting involving a stinger missile directed at an Albany imam who has written the IANA Vice-Chairman about setting up a US-base for Ansar Al-Islam (the group in Northern Iraq). According to the government in its filed papers, the imam had received a courier from Bin Laden after 9/11 inquiring how close he could get to “an [redacted] aircraft.”

    Businessman says his find led to FBI “anthrax” probe
    June 13, 2009 – 10:14 PM

    On Saturday night, CBS 6 News was contacted by a man who says he’s the one who found two vials labelled “anthrax vaccine” and “smallpox vaccine”, the man whose find prompted the FBI investigation at an auction house in Schenectady and – according to Jamie Pendt – a seven-and-a-half hour search of his home at 56 Elm Street.

    According to Pendt, when federal agents searched a dumpster Friday at New York Surplus Auction, they were looking for a passport that he says he found with the two vials and a copy of the Quaran and some books written in Arabic about a week and a half ago.

    Pendt says he owns a company called Empire Property Solutions. He buys abandoned belongings left in storage then sells the good stuff and throws out whatever is worthless.

    He says he knew not to throw away the two vials but wasn’t sure what to do so he brought them home.

    Pendt told CBS 6 News’ Craig Smith that a friend who knows an FBI agent contacted the FBI for him, then the FBI came to his house at midnight Thursday night, searched the home, ran some tests for anthrax that Pendt says came back negative, then left at at seven-thirty.

    On Friday the FBI told CBS 6 News it has no reason to believe that what it is investigating poses a danger.

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