We reported earlier that the FBI believes that suspected Anthrax sender Bruce Ivins was motivated partly by his “right-to-life fervor.” Regardless of whether anti-abortion sentiment played a role in those attacks, there was never any doubt about the motivation behind the now forgotten anthrax scare that swept women’s health clinics the following month.
Here’s an excerpt from an 11/29/01 FBI press release announcing new information about the then-fugitive suspect Clayton Lee Waagner:
During Labor Day weekend, 2001, Waagner abandoned a vehicle in Memphis, Tennessee, following a hit and run accident. Authorities recovered various items from the vehicle including a rifle, a shotgun, a pipe bomb, and anti-abortion literature. That same weekend, Waagner fled the area after committing a carjacking in nearby Tunica, Mississippi. Waagner had previously testified that he is an “anti-abortion warrior” and admitted to stalking abortion clinics around the country.
During the second week of October 2001, more than 280 letters that threatened to contain anthrax were mailed to women’s reproductive health clinics on the east coast. The envelopes were marked “Time Sensitive” and “Urgent Security Notice Enclosed.” The envelopes also bore return addresses of the U.S. Marshals Service or the U.S. Secret Service. During the first week of November 2001 a second series of more than 270 anthrax threat letters were sent to women’s reproductive health clinics via Federal Express.
It now appears quite possible that one deranged “pro-life” terrorist was inspired to action by another deranged “pro-life” terrorist. How tragic, and telling, that would be.