Help PMA grow | Petition forms | Site map | PMA main page
Evil at Home: Planned Parenthood Gets Threatening 'Anthrax' Letters
16 October 2001
Amid the multiplying anthrax scares, one group of incidents cries out for more attention. The Washington Post reports, October 16, that the Planned Parenthood Federation of America said envelopes containing powdery substances arrived at 90 family planning offices and abortion clinics in more than a dozen states.
(As of Tuesday morning, the LA Times reported that only two the letters have been tested, and that neither tested positive for anthrax.)
It shouldn't be too hard to pick out the suspects in the Planned Parenthood cases, if the media and law enforcement do their job. Six Planned Parenthood facilities in the Washington area received letters signed by the Army of God, a group that the Washington Post described as "a little known group that advocates violence against abortion providers." According to local Planned Parenthood spokeswoman Virginia Martin, each letter said: "You have been exposed to anthrax. We are going to kill all of you. From the Army of God, Virginia Dare Chapter."
In fact, The Army of God is not so little-known. Over the last two decades, anti-abortion terrorists have committed numerous bombings, arson attacks and assassinations against abortion providers in the group's name. A close associate of the group, Clayton Lee Waagner, was placed on the FBI's Most Wanted List just last month for terrorist activities preceding September 11.
Waagner escaped from federal custody in February, while awaiting sentencing on federal weapons and stolen vehicle charges. He faced a possible sentence of 15 years to life. He had admitted he was heading out to Seattle to kill a doctor when he was stopped by Illinois State Police. In June, he posted a manifesto on the website of the Army of God in which he bragged of his travels, claiming to have stalked clinics, assembled a cache of weapons and compiled dossiers on clinic staff in order "to kill as many of them as I can."
In all the journalistic fray to cover "America's War Against Terrorism," only Frederick Clarkson, a longtime investigator into anti-abortion violence, has picked up on Lee Waagner's story.
Clarkson writes that Waagner is "a self-described 'terrorist.'" The FBI considers Waagner, "armed and extremely dangerous" -- "not unlike the description of Saudi exile and suspected terrorist Osama bin Laden," says Clarkson. But there's been no "War against Terrorism" to defend Americans from Waagner and his network. Seven hundred "suspects" have not been detained in that manhunt.
As Clarkson reports, the FBI's addition of Waagner to the Ten Most Wanted List, just ten days after the September 11 attacks, received little attention during the global hunt for those who committed the terrorism at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. "Federal law enforcement agencies led by the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service are hot on the trail of this federal fugitive," says Clarkson, but one wonders -- how many FBI agents are available for other-than-Al Qaeda investigations at this time? More than one attorney I've spoken with recently has commented that FBI agents are hard to come by since the "war" against Al Qaeda began.
While reporters seem to be oblivious to the Army of God/Waagner story, federal authorities say they are refocusing their investigation of the anthrax outbreak to concentrate on the exposure threats as a possible terrorist attack carried out by followers of Osama bin Laden. As long as they search for bin Laden links only, it's virtually guaranteed that they'll miss the real culprit in the Planned Parenthood cases.
They are cases that remind one that terror in America didn't begin on September 11, and most of it is homegrown.