For Immediate Release
FBI National Press Office
of Director Mueller on FBI Investigations into Anthrax Exposures
and Suspected Anthrax Exposure
of Anthrax Letters
afternoon. This afternoon, I want to spend a few moments
at the outset talking about the anthrax issue.
most of you know, the FBI is investigating anthrax exposures
and suspected anthrax exposures in Florida, in New York,
here in Washington, DC, and elsewhere around the country
where such exposures have been reported. Every threat is
taken seriously. Every threat receives a full response.
We have no choice but to assume that each reported instance
is an actual bio-threat. And while organized terrorism has
not been ruled out, so far we have found no direct link
to organized terrorism.
are, however, certain similarities between letters sent
to NBC in New York and to Senator Daschle's office here
in Washington. We're now testing, analyzing, and comparing
powders from these letters to each other and to what we
know from Florida. And I should point out that the tests
are being done under the auspices of the Centers for Disease
Control, or CDC.
October 1, the FBI has responded to more than 2,300 incidents
or suspected incidents involving anthrax or other dangerous
agents. And as all of you know, an overwhelming majority
of these incidents have been false alarms or practical jokes.
The FBI will devote whatever resources are necessary to
investigate each of these situations.
I want to reiterate the comments of the Attorney General.
Hoaxes, pranks and threats involving chemical or biological
agents are serious crimes and warrant a serious response.
They will be investigated thoroughly and vigorously by Special
Agents of the FBI, by the postal authorities, by local authorities
and by other law enforcement.
the indictment discussed today makes clear, individuals
who attempt to prey on people's fears or even to pull a
prank will pay a price. In addition to the price that they
are paying, they should know that they are squandering millions
of dollars in public health and law enforcement resources,
resources that could be better spent in responding to actual
terrorist acts. More importantly, they are taking manpower
and time away from individuals who could be ensuring that
there are no future terrorist acts.
incidents arise, we are working closely with the Centers
for Disease Control, with city and state public health officials,
and with a host of federal, state and local law enforcement
authorities. We greatly appreciate the help and expertise.
investigators and specially trained scientists, public safety
officers, and hazardous materials response experts are being
called upon as needed, whether they be at the federal government
level or the state or the local level. We are making a concerted
and coordinated effort to keep state and local law enforcement
authorities informed and involved. Quite obviously, their
skills and expertise are top notch, and we need their help.
| 2001 Press Releases | FBI
Home Page |