SEVERE WX : Winter Weather Advisory View Alerts
CLOSINGS: View Closings

2001 Anthrax Attacks Fast Facts

Here's a look at the 2001 anthrax attacks, also referred to as Amerithrax.Facts about anthrax:...

Posted: Jun 2, 2018 7:03 AM
Updated: Jun 2, 2018 7:03 AM

Here's a look at the 2001 anthrax attacks, also referred to as Amerithrax.

Facts about anthrax:
There are three types of anthrax infection: cutaneous (through the skin), inhalation (through the lungs; the most deadly) and gastrointestinal (through digestion). There has been a fourth type of anthrax identified as injection anthrax. This is common in heroin-injecting users in northern Europe. This has never been reported in the United States.

It can be contracted by handling products from infected animals or by breathing in anthrax spores and by eating undercooked meat from infected animals.

Anthrax has been blamed for several plagues over the ages that killed both humans and livestock. It emerged in World War I as a biological weapon.

The CDC categorizes anthrax as a Category A agent: one that poses the greatest possible threat for a negative impact on public health; one that may spread across a large area or need public awareness and requires planning to protect the public's health.

Amerithrax:
Five people died and 17 people sickened during anthrax attacks in the fall of 2001; outbreak is often referred to as Amerithrax.

Anthrax was sent via anonymous letters to news agencies in Florida and New York and a congressional office building in Washington.

Of the five victims who died of inhalation anthrax, two were postal workers. The other three victims were an elderly woman from rural Connecticut, a Manhattan hospital worker from the Bronx and an employee at a Florida tabloid magazine who may have contracted anthrax through cross-contamination.

The letters were sent to NBC anchor Tom Brokaw, Sen. Majority Leader Tom Daschle, Sen. Patrick Leahy, and the New York Post offices. The letters were postmarked Trenton, New Jersey.

No arrests have been made in the attacks.

The FBI has interviewed more than 9,100 people and issued more than 6,000 subpoenas in the case.

4.8 million masks and 88 million gloves were purchased by the Postal Service for its employees, and 300 postal facilities were tested for anthrax.

Over 32,000 people took antibiotics after possible exposure to anthrax.

Victims:
Stevens, Bob - photo editor at American Media Inc, dies of inhalation anthrax, October 5, 2001

Curseen, Joseph Jr. - DC area postal worker, dies of inhalation anthrax, October 22, 2001

Morris, Thomas Jr. - DC postal worker, dies of inhalation anthrax, October 21, 2001

Nguyen, Kathy - employee at Manhattan hospital, dies of inhalation anthrax, October 31, 2001

Lundgren, Ottilie - Connecticut woman, dies of inhalation anthrax, November 22, 2001

Timeline:
October 5, 2001 - Sun photo editor Bob Stevens dies of inhalation anthrax.

October 12, 2001 - NBC News announces that an employee has contracted anthrax.

October 15, 2001 - A letter postmarked Trenton, New Jersey, opened by an employee of Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle contains white powdery substance later found to be "weapons grade" strain of anthrax spores. More than two dozen people in Daschle's office test positive for anthrax after the envelope is discovered.

October 19, 2001 - An unopened letter tainted with anthrax is found in the offices of the New York Post. One Post employee is confirmed to have a cutaneous infection and a second shows symptoms of the same infection.

October 21, 2001 - DC postal worker Thomas Morris Jr. dies of inhalation anthrax.

October 22, 2001 - DC postal worker Joseph Curseen dies of inhalation anthrax.

October 31, 2001 - Kathy Nguyen, a stockroom worker for the Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital, dies of inhalation anthrax.

November 9, 2001 - The FBI releases a behavioral profile of the suspect, who is probably a male loner and might work in a laboratory.

November 16, 2001 - A letter sent to Senator Patrick Leahy is found to contain anthrax. The letter is among those at the Capitol that has been quarantined. The letter contains at least 23,000 anthrax spores and is postmarked October 9, in Trenton, New Jersey.

November 22, 2001 - Ottilie Lundgren, a 94-year-old Connecticut woman, dies of inhalation anthrax.

January 2002 - FBI agents interview former US Army bioweapons scientist Steven Hatfill as part of the anthrax investigation.

June 2002 - Bioweapons researcher Steven Hatfill is named a "person of interest" by the FBI.

June 25, 2002 - The FBI searches Steven Hatfill's Maryland apartment and Florida storage locker with his consent.

June 27, 2002 - The FBI says it is focusing on 30 biological weapons experts in its probe.

August 1, 2002 - The FBI uses a criminal search warrant to search Steven Hatfill's Maryland apartment and Florida storage locker a second time; anthrax swab tests come back negative.

August 6, 2002 - Attorney General John Ashcroft refers to Hatfill as a "person of interest."

August 11, 2002 - Steven Hatfill holds a press conference declaring his innocence. He holds a second one on August 25, 2002.

September 11, 2002 - The FBI searches Hatfill's former apartment in Maryland for the third time.

August 26, 2003 - Hatfill files a civil lawsuit against Attorney General John Ashcroft, the Justice Department and the FBI claiming his constitutional rights have been violated. The suit alleges violations of Hatfill's Fifth Amendment rights by preventing him from earning a living, violations of his Fifth Amendment rights by retaliating against him after he sought to have his name cleared in the anthrax probe and the disclosure of information from his FBI file. The suit, which names the Justice Department, FBI, Attorney General John Ashcroft and various lower level Justice and FBI officials, asks for a declaration that government officials violated Hatfill's constitutional rights and seeks an injunction against future violations. The suit also seeks an undetermined amount of monetary damages.

July 11, 2004 - The former headquarters of American Media, Inc. in Boca Raton, Florida, where Bob Stevens contracted the anthrax is pumped full of chlorine dioxide gas for decontamination. This was the last building exposed to anthrax in the fall of 2001.

June 27, 2008 - The Justice Department reaches a settlement with former Army scientist Steven Hatfill. The settlement requires the Justice Department to pay Hatfill a one-time payment of $2.825 million and to buy a $3 million annuity that will pay Hatfill $150,000 a year for 20 years. In return, Hatfill drops his lawsuit, and the government admits no wrongdoing.

July 29, 2008 - Bruce Ivins, a former researcher at the Army's bioweapons laboratory at Fort Detrick, Maryland, dies after overdosing during a suicide attempt on July 27.

August 6, 2008 - Judge unseals and releases hundreds of documents in the 2001 FBI Anthrax investigation that detail Ivins' role in the attacks.

August 8, 2008 - The Justice Department formally exonerates Hatfill.

September 25, 2008 - Court releases more documents including e-mails that Bruce Ivins sent to himself.

February 19, 2010 - The Justice Department , FBI and US Postal Inspection Service announce its investigation into the 2001 anthrax mailings is at an end.

March 23, 2011 - A report, entitled The Amerithrax Case, is released through the Research Strategies Network, a non-profit think tank based in Virginia. According to the report, old mental health records suggest Bruce Ivins should have been prevented from holding a job at a US Army research facility in Maryland. The report was requested by the US Department of Justice.

October 9, 2011 - The New York Times reports indicate there are scientists questioning the FBI assertions regarding Bruce Ivins. Possibly Ivins, if he was involved, worked with a partner. Also, the scientists say the presence of tin in the dried anthrax warrants that the investigation be reopened.

November 23, 2011 - The Justice Department settles for $2.5 million with the family of Bob Stevens, the first victim to die in the 2001 anthrax attack. The family originally sued for $50 million in 2003, arguing that the military laboratory should have had tighter security.

December 19, 2014 - The Government Accountability Office releases a 77-page report reviewing the genetic testing used by the FBI during the investigation into the anthrax attacks.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 270157

Reported Deaths: 3297
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin579261084
Ramsey24528470
Anoka19211213
Dakota18738176
Washington12351104
Stearns1200389
Scott735654
St. Louis712297
Wright646135
Olmsted604730
Sherburne499538
Clay435954
Carver397312
Blue Earth367011
Rice350331
Kandiyohi337613
Crow Wing306729
Nobles293828
Chisago27778
Benton256338
Otter Tail251415
Winona240928
Mower232822
Polk222221
Douglas211929
Morrison207521
Lyon189810
McLeod18089
Beltrami177115
Goodhue173126
Becker16769
Itasca165223
Steele16396
Todd161412
Isanti159115
Carlton148310
Nicollet144523
Freeborn13625
Mille Lacs129030
Le Sueur12899
Waseca128710
Pine11625
Cass11538
Brown112610
Meeker10117
Martin97020
Roseau9443
Hubbard92822
Wabasha8961
Dodge7770
Watonwan7604
Redwood75118
Chippewa7437
Renville68818
Sibley6844
Cottonwood6800
Wadena6706
Pipestone65618
Aitkin64722
Rock6259
Houston6012
Fillmore5910
Yellow Medicine55310
Unassigned52756
Murray5173
Pennington5076
Kanabec49711
Swift4835
Faribault4650
Pope4620
Stevens4342
Clearwater4156
Marshall4047
Jackson3981
Lake3463
Koochiching3275
Wilkin3175
Lac qui Parle3123
Lincoln3081
Norman3006
Big Stone2711
Mahnomen2404
Grant2256
Red Lake1833
Kittson1786
Traverse1190
Lake of the Woods821
Cook570

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 210482

Reported Deaths: 2173
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk31270322
Linn13252158
Scott1022075
Black Hawk10209126
Woodbury9870111
Johnson900835
Dubuque866490
Story637819
Dallas595555
Pottawattamie574666
Sioux349925
Webster330928
Marshall327841
Cerro Gordo323041
Clinton303637
Buena Vista290214
Muscatine266964
Des Moines266116
Plymouth257937
Warren254610
Wapello239971
Jones221112
Jasper202739
Marion191518
Carroll188220
Lee188015
Bremer176012
Henry16847
Crawford168215
Benton157414
Tama145140
Jackson13608
Delaware134721
Boone127711
Washington126513
Dickinson126210
Mahaska119027
Wright11425
Buchanan10789
Page10774
Hardin105810
Clay10434
Harrison101428
Clayton10084
Cedar98913
Hamilton9877
Mills9806
Calhoun9787
Fayette9588
Lyon9458
Floyd92614
Kossuth9214
Poweshiek91512
Butler8943
Winneshiek88910
Winnebago87423
Iowa86711
Louisa79916
Hancock7947
Chickasaw7853
Grundy77310
Sac7617
Cherokee7484
Cass73519
Appanoose7336
Shelby7184
Allamakee71111
Mitchell7074
Emmet70123
Guthrie69215
Union6866
Franklin67619
Humboldt6495
Madison6414
Jefferson6121
Palo Alto6044
Unassigned5810
Keokuk5237
Pocahontas5072
Howard4999
Osceola4941
Greene4860
Clarke4564
Ida42810
Monroe42812
Montgomery42610
Davis4225
Taylor4162
Adair4066
Monona3912
Fremont3432
Worth3330
Van Buren3294
Lucas3056
Decatur2950
Wayne2836
Audubon2811
Ringgold1832
Adams1521
Rochester
Overcast
31° wxIcon
Hi: 39° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 22°
Mason City
Overcast
32° wxIcon
Hi: 39° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 23°
Albert Lea
Overcast
32° wxIcon
Hi: 38° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 24°
Austin
Overcast
34° wxIcon
Hi: 39° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 29°
Charles City
Overcast
34° wxIcon
Hi: 39° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 25°
Rain and Snow Moving In For Tuesday
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Aaron's Monday Night Forecast

Image

TIC preseason projections

Image

Austin Bruins announce weekend plans

Image

Teams begin to navigate the pause on sports

Image

Rochester to Create Liquor License Fee Relief Program

Image

A "Thank You" to health care workers

Image

Business operators react to Governor's latest plans

Image

Aaron's Monday Evening Forecast

Image

Food insecurity in younger adults.

Image

Food insecurity survey with University of Minnesota

Community Events