Skip to comments.FBI Seeks Anthrax-Scare Culprit
Posted on 10/24/2008 10:36:28 AM PDT by Prunetacos
The FBI has posted a $100,000 reward for help in finding who sent identical letters containing what turned out to be a harmless white powder to banking offices across the country. All 50 letters, which were sent between Oct. 17 and 18, were postmarked Amarillo, Texas. FBI today released the text of the letters on its Web site: "STEAL TENS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE'S MONEY AND NOT EXPECT REPERCUSSIONS. IT'S PAYBACK TIME. WHAT YOU JUST BREATHED IN WILL KILL YOU WITHIN 10 DAYS. THANK (Redacted) AND THE FDIC FOR YOUR DEMISE."
(Excerpt) Read more at voices.washingtonpost.com ...
"People who have mailed these kinds of hoax letters in the past have received some serious jail time," said FBI Special Agent Richard Kolko. "This investigation will continue until those responsible are arrested, and we appreciate the public's support by providing information."
Don’t pay attention to Bill Ayers’ jokes! /sarc
Anthrax Investigation At New York Times
The New York Times today received an envelope that contained a “white granular substance.” Take that, liberal media! A terror threat straight out of 2002. The NYPD is on the scene. The most recent similar incident was an envelope sent to Barack Obama’s headquarters in South Philadelphia last week. The contents were harmless, though the letter included had the phrase “death to Obama.” Oh, you terrorists!
what? and they didn't try to snort it...
Doesn't the FBI have a sense of humor? People do it all the time.
There are people who are surrounded by bigots
and know it is wrong, but are afraid to be vocal against it.
These people are going to pull the lever for Obama
and they are not being polled.
White powder scares cost law enforcement time, money
USA TODAY Firefighters and federal agents have responded to more than 30,000 incidents involving suspicious powders, liquids or chemicals since 2001 in what authorities say is the terrifying legacy of the anthrax attacks after 9/11.
Postal service and law enforcement officials say thousands of the incidents are hoaxes involving white powder sent through the mail and thousands more are emergency calls to report powder found on countertops, in mailrooms and elsewhere.
"A single incident can warrant a huge response," says Billy Hayes of Washington, D.C.'s fire department. "It gets very expensive, not to mention the inconvenience."
There is no official count of the number of white powder calls in the seven years since letters poisoned with anthrax killed five people. But in just the past year, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service has responded to 2,893 incidents, many of which involved white powder, spokesman Douglas Bem says.
The FBI, which is called when a threatening note is found or when it otherwise appears a crime may have been committed, looked into more than 900 biological incidents from January 2007 to August 2008, "the majority of those incidents being white powder letters," spokesman Richard Kolko says.
The FBI released this photo of a letter that accompanied white powder sent to a bank in Oklahoma, one of about 30 such letters sent nationwide.
Late 2000 and August 2001: Hoax Letters Possibly Related to Anthrax Attacks Sent to Fox News Commentators A series of hoax anthrax letters are sent to Fox News commentators Bill OReilly and Sean Hannity. Hannity will later say he began receiving the letters in the winter of 2000 and then a second batch in August 2001. Most of them were sent from a postmark in Indianapolis, Indiana, but one or two were from Trenton, New Jersey, where the deadly anthrax letters will be sent from shortly after the 9/11 attacks. The FBI will later allow the New York Post to see copies of these letters, which have block handwriting sloping down to the right and other features remarkably similar to the later letters containing real anthrax. Hannity will later say: When I saw the Tom Daschle envelope and the Tom Brokaw envelope, I immediately was stunned. It was the exact same handwriting that I had recognized. When I saw it I said, Oh my God, thats the same guy. [New York
September 20-October 15, 2001: Hoax Anthrax Letters from St. Petersburg Initially Thought to Be Real
On September 20, 2001, a letter purporting to contain anthrax is postmarked in St. Petersburg and addressed to NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw. On September 25, Erin OConnor, an assistant to Brokaw, gets sick with cutaneous anthrax. During the first days of the anthrax investigation in early October, it will be assumed that OConnor got sick from the St. Petersburg letter. A brief handwritten note is found in the letter with some powder. The note threatened biological attacks on New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Washington, DC. The letter contains misspelled phrase THE UNTHINKABEL with the Ns reversed. On October 5, two more letters are sent from St. Petersburg that resemble to earlier letter to Brokaw. For instance, it is written in the same capitalized, blocked letters, the Ns are reversed, there are similar biological threats made, and there is a powdery substance inside. One of the letters is sent to New York Times reporter Judith Miller, who is a co-author of Germs: Biological Weapons and Americas Secret War, a book published just days earlier. The other letter is to Howard Troxler, a columnist for the St. Petersburg Times. Troxler opened his letter on October 9 and Miller opened hers on October 12. But laboratory analysis soon determines that the powder in all three of the St. Petersburg letters is non-toxic. Furthermore, it is learned that a different letter containing real anthrax was sent to Tom Brokaw, explaining OConnors infection. [Vanity Fair, 9/15/2003]
Mid-November 2001: Harmless Second Anthrax Letter Sent to Sen. Daschle, Increasing Attention on Suspect Hatfill
In mid-November 2001, a second anthrax letter appears in Senator Tom Daschles office. According to a later Washington Post article, This [letter] had passed through irradiation equipment to kill anthrax spores, and the powdery material packed in the envelope tested benign. Details about the letter are scanty, but it is known that it is postmarked in mid-November from London. The white powder apparently is harmless talc. The letter contains similar language to the real anthrax letters, except the phrase Stop the bombing is added. Scientist Steven Hatfill, who is already starting to come under suspicion for the anthrax attacks (see Late 2001), is in Britain at the time, attending a specialized training course to become a UN weapons inspector in Iraq. The course takes place about 70 miles from London. This increases suspicions on Hatfill and the FBI asks British police to help retrace his every move. But it is never shown that he had anything to do with the letter. It is unknown if the letter contains any writing or other clues that would match the deadly anthrax letters. [Associated Press, 1/4/2002; Washington Post,
The copiers were a dead end for the FBI. However, the copy paper used in the mailings has an interesting side story indirectly involving Ed.
An anonymous person running a website dealing with the FBI photos of the letters which, up until that point, had been posted in the small jpeg format, petitioned the FBI to release of the full blown Tiff formated photos. To everyone’s amazement the FBI did so.
The hugh images could be analyzed and the website owner discovered what appeared to be odd images in the paper.
The images were definitely there.
He wrongly theorized that the images were “doodles” made by a careless examiner.
He made further efforts to obtain info from the FBI but was stonewalled.
His eventually apparently gave up and bequeathed his website and its great contents to Ed Lake, who never appreciated the significance of the images in the paper and wrote them off.
When he reads this he will do so again.
There were an average of two hoax letter anthrax threats per week in the year BEFORE the real attacks of 2001. And there's been about 30,000 since then.
There isn't much to go on with this case. The letter and envelope on the FBI's web site seem to have been printed with a computer. They were sent from Amarillo, Texas. The envelope shows it was postmarked at 2 p.m. on Saturday, October 18.
The culprit didn't bother to correct the spelling of "REPRERCUSSIONS" in the letter. It seems odd to blame the FDIC for anything. The FBI redacted the other person or organization we're supposed to blame. I'd like to know if all the letters were postmarked at the same time and place, if they all contained the same letter, if there's anything odd about the addresses, etc. But, the FBI has all that, so it can't be of much help.
I know some true nut cases in Texas, but I have no reason to believe they'd do anything like this.
I'd probably start with a list of people who had "tens of thousands" more than $100,000 in some bank that failed.