chapter  7
25 Pages

2001 anthrax attacks

The anthrax sent by post to attack US media and government institutions killing five people in October-November 2001, exposed America to a type of threat for which it was not fully prepared. At first the authorities believed the attacks were part of a second wave of Al Qaeda attacks (which had been predicted) or a diversion to disguise an attack of far greater magnitude. The attacks were not the first time Americans encountered anthrax. During the 1990s there had been a number of anthrax hoaxes, over 30 in February 1999 alone. These generally took the form of letters with warnings of anthrax attached, sent to newspapers and abortion clinics.1