Federal Express packages containing white powder and the threat “This contains anthrax. You’re going to die,” arrivedat more than 200 Midwest and East Coast abortion clinics on Thursday.
The packages, sent overnight from drop boxes in Virginia and Philadelphia, mark the second mass mailing signed by theArmy of God, an elusive group of anti-abortion extremists who in the past have claimed responsibility for the murderof doctors who perform abortions and for the bombing of clinics. On the armyofgod.com web site, the featured quote ofthe month is “I’m an abortionist-bomber, that’s what I do” — from Clayton Waagner, an anti-abortion extremist on theFBI’s top ten list of most wanted criminals.
The mailings come less than a month after more than 250 similar letters were sent to abortion clinics in envelopesthrough the postal system. Because there have been so many anthrax threats against abortion clinics in the last threeyears, abortion rights groups have developed routines for notifying all clinics of the threats that have beenreceived, and most are careful to screen their mail.
Shortly after the first anthrax threats arrived at the National Abortion Federation in Washington on Thursday, theyreceived a bomb threat and evacuated the building for more than an hour. Authorities testing the powder do notbelieve it contains anthrax or other toxins.
But the directors of Planned Parenthood, the National Abortion Federation and the Feminist Majority Foundation haverequested a meeting with Attorney General John Ashcroft and Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge.
- Kudrack McCulloagh, abortion provider at the Feminist Health Center in New Hampshire.