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Friday, January 22, 2010
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2001 anthrax attacks
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2001 anthrax attacks
A letter sent to Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle containing anthrax powder killed two postal workers
Location New York City, New York
Boca Raton, Florida
Date Letters postmarked September 18, 2001 and October 9, 2001; some were opened at a later date
Target ABC News, CBS News, NBC News, New York Post, National Enquirer, Senators Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy
Attack type Bioterrorism
Injured 17 infected
Suspected perpetrator(s) Bruce Edwards Ivins
The 2001 anthrax attacks in the United States, also known as Amerithrax from its Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) case name, occurred over the course of several weeks beginning on September 18, 2001. Letters containing anthrax spores were mailed to several news media offices and two Democratic U.S. Senators, killing five people and infecting 17 others. (A 2004 study however, has shown that the total number of harmed people should be raised to 68 .) The primary suspect was not publicly identified until 2008.
In mid-2008, the FBI narrowed its focus to Bruce Edwards Ivins, a scientist who worked at the government's biodefense labs at Fort Detrick in Frederick, Maryland. Ivins was told of the impending prosecution and on July 27 committed suicide, by an overdose of acetaminophen.
On August 6, 2008, federal prosecutors declared Ivins to be the sole culprit of the crime. Two days later, Sen. Charles Grassley and Rep. Rush Holt called for hearings into the DOJ and FBI's handling of the investigation.
On September 15, 2009, the Department of Justice responded in writing to questions from Sen. Charles Grassley posed 7 months earlier . FBI Director Robert Mueller wrote "“There is also ongoing criminal and civil litigation concerning the Amerithrax investigation and information derived therefrom, and an independent review of the FBI’s “detective work” at this time could adversely affect those proceedings.”