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The Real Anthrax Terrorist Profile

By Abe Irato

The FBI has issued an incomplete profile of the Anthrax perpetrator. Since this is a matter of national security, here we give what we feel is a more complete profile with the help of a person with a background in law enforcement. The following profile represents the educated opinion of the staff and our affiliates. It should be viewed in contrast and conjunction with the FBI profile.

The Anthrax Letter Perpetrator:

1. The perpetrator holds a mid-level or lower-level job at a university or other facility that engages in agricultural research. 

The perpetrator may be well-educated, and perhaps even a chemist as the FBI suggests, but we think it is just as likely that he holds a very minor position at an agricultural research center.  

  • Rationale: a) The perpetrator used at least two strains of anthrax, probably because he stole them at different times. Yet he seemed to be unaware of the differences between the two.  b) The perpetrator did not work at a bio-weapons research or storage center, as proven by the fact that the two anthrax strains respond well to all kinds of antibiotics. The primary characteristic of "weaponized" anthrax is that it is resistant to antibiotics. c) Considering where the letters were postmarked, one might well wish to inspect the employment records of Rutgers University or possibly even the Bronx Zoo. d) A well-educated person would be less likely to hold extreme political views, in our opinion. The perpetrator might even be a janitor or some other low-level employee who only coincidentally has access to anthrax spores. e) We suspect the perpetrator is a person of average intelligence. He probably sees himself as an unrecognized genius, however, and this is an important clue in identifying him.

2. Look for a white male who is middle-aged and disenchanted. A man who feels like life has passed him by and he has failed to achieve what was expected of him. The perpetrator may be in his twenties, as the FBI suggests, but we think there is at least an equal likelihood that he is middle aged - 40's to early 60's. 

  • Rationale: a) Although people in their twenties are known to occasionally hold extreme political views (see item 4), such views are generally expressed by disenchanted white males who feel they've gotten a raw deal in life. b) Statistically, women do not commit these sorts of crimes. c) It is also unlikely that a member of an ethnic minority would choose the targets that the perpetrator chose. d) an Islamic Jihad supporter would have gone after the White House and other high-profile targets of what is seen as Western imperialism. The selection of targets effectively rules out a middle-east connection, despite FBI claims to the contrary. e) Disenchantment and the feeling that he "got a raw deal" is key to reaching a breaking point in which this kind of person decides to commit such acts.

3. The perpetrator is likely single. He may have been married at one time but he finds himself unable to form permanent relationships with women. His feeble attempts to form a relationship may have manifested in using a personal ad and/or the Internet to find a woman who would see him as he sees himself. This attempt or attempts may have resulted in at least one accidental death. See item 7 below. 

  • Rationale: a) Historically, crimes like this are committed by single males. The perpetrators of such acts typically are socially maladjusted and loners, although not exclusively.  In the absence of any evidence to the contrary, this item should be used to identify potential perpetrators. b) Heterosexual males who have social adjustment issues are most likely candidates to use "lonely hearts" ads and/or the Internet to find a mate

4. The perpetrator is a right-wing extremist who has probably expressed strong conservative views to his coworkers. It is also highly likely that he is a Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and/or Bill O'Reilly fan who has expressed deity-like worship of one or more of these people. He may well have contributed to the George Bush presidential campaign.

  • Rationale: The targets that were chosen by the perpetrator betray a particular political bias.  a) Going after Tom Daschle, John Leahy, Dan Rather, and Tom Brokaw show the desire to terrorize those perceived to be part of the vast left-wing conspiracy against George Bush.  b) These people are unique in that they have been special targets of verbal assault by Limbaugh and Hannity, and it seems therefore that the perpetrator considered these attacks constituted a sort of "hit list". c) Tom Brokaw is particularly significant in regard to this because he is not generally perceived to be a big liberal except by Rush Limbaugh, who has verbally attacked Mr. Brokaw as such in the past. No right- wing types received letters. d) Fox News was notably exempt from attacks, and this, too, is telling. Right-wing members of Congress were exempt from attack, as was the White House. This shows a definite political agenda behind the attacks.  After all, wouldn't Osama binLaden (or someone acting on his behalf) have attacked the White House, the most obvious symbol of his opponents? How likely is it for Islamic radicals to choose as targets the much lower-profile Leahy, for example? e) (The expression of such views). A person with strong radical views probably can't keep them to himself and has spoken about such views and possibly even acted upon them in less obvious ways. f) (To a George Bush supporter). The selected targets would be considered (by right wing talk show hosts, at least) as being the enemies of George W. Bush, as well as being liberals. Again, the selection of targets indicates a particular political persuasion and allegiance.
  • Counter-evidence: a) Some people question the inclusion of the Enquirer/Examiner/Sun conglomerate in this list of "liberals", since these papers often express conservative views. Our answer is that they "trashed" (in the view of the right wing, and particularly Rush Limbaugh) George W. Bush's daughters when they were arrested for underage drinking. This would be sufficient to make them targets of a right-wing terrorist who feels a personal affinity for President Bush. b) The letter to the New York Post does not fit this profile item. We suspect that the letter sent to the New York Post was a red herring, possibly an error. The perpetrator has access to anthrax but he doesn't seem to be particularly bright.  It is also possible that a letter to the editor was accidentally contaminated. It is further possible that the perpetrator has a personal grudge against the New York Post because of some other issue, such as a miss-billing or error in a classified ad placed by the perpetrator. It is also worth noting that - contrary to its usual right-wing political agenda, the New York Post published very negative pieces about George W. Bush's daughters in a manner not unlike the Enquirer.  -- All of the other targets are clearly identified as "liberals" by right-wing talk show hosts, and are often attacked as such.

5. The perpetrator may also be associated with extremist an religious group. Anthrax has been the weapon of choice for the Religious Right in its war against women's health clinics. The FBI knows full well that abortion clinics live under Anthrax threats on a daily basis (they have been receiving such threats for the past 20 years) and we find it curious that this was left out of the profile. 

  • Rationale: Knowing that members of the religious right regularly threaten anthrax attacks against abortion clinics (according to what we've been told), the FBI should be looking into members of these groups first. We believe the FBI has been somewhat handicapped by the fact that they have treated threats against abortion clinics as less than worthy of investigation in the past. Had the FBI spent time looking into these previous anthrax threats, they would already have a list of likely suspects. If we recall correctly, Attorney General Aschroft himself belongs to one of these extremist groups; The United Pentecostal Church.

6. The perpetrator took penicillin as a precaution during the time he put together the letters.  The letters themselves indicate that the perpetrator knew the Anthrax strains involved in his terrorist acts would respond to penicillin - even though he spelled it incorrectly. (Which could be an attempt to disguise his identity). While the FBI identifies Cipro as the treatment of choice, the strains involved in these acts respond to all antibiotics, according to the CDC. It appears that the perpetrator was well-aware of this.

  • Rationale: The suggestion that one take penicillin for anthrax exposure indicates what the perpetrator himself might have been told to do if he was worried about exposure. It should also be noted that the perpetrator intended to frighten rather than kill with the anthrax, otherwise he would not have issued the warning. This lends further weight to the evidence that the perpetrator is not a chemist or an expert in anthrax.

7. The perpetrator may have actually dated or had some other personal relationship with Kathy Nguyen, the Bronx healthcare worker who died of the inhalation form of anthrax. We further suspect that she spent time is his apartment or house.

  • Rationale: a) The inhaled version of anthrax is the most difficult of all to get. It takes a lot of spores and/or prolonged exposure to them. Such prolonged exposure will leave evidence behind, and the government has shown that it can detect even a single spore of anthrax. b) There were NO spores found in Ms. Nguyen's home, work, or mailbox. It seems highly unlikely, therefore, that she could have been exposed as a result of mail contamination. c) Since there were no mass cases of anthrax in New York, we can rule-out aerosolized anthrax having been used in a public place (such as the subway system). If it had, Ms. Nguyen would have been one among hundreds or thousands of victims.  THEREFORE, Ms. Nguyen must have been exposed to anthrax at a private location other than her own home or office. d) The likelihood that the perpetrator is single and lonely indicates that he would seek companionship. e) "Asian women"  ads are often seen in magazines like Soldier of Fortune and other right-wing publications because women of this broad ethnicity are seen as compliant and not "pushy" like American women. Since our perpetrator can't get along with women in general, he would be likely to seek a person such as Ms. Nguyen.
  • Counter-evidence: a) We consider that it is also possible that Ms. Nguyen was in the home of the perpetrator because she applied for a second job such as part-time housekeeping to supplement her income. If this is the case, he may have run an ad for such a person - possibly in the New York Post. b) Finally, it is possible that Ms. Nguyen had prolonged close contact with the perpetrator in a tight space but technically public space, such as a tightly packed subway train. In this case, the perpetrator would have had the anthrax virus on his clothing but was probably unaware of his condition. If this is the case, then we can guess that the perpetrator rides the #6  train (since that is the only subway train that Ms Nguyen took from home to work).

This is the ONLY profile which takes into account all of the known facts and doesn't leave anything out. Perhaps the FBI profile is right in some areas, but the gaping holes are puzzling to us. We wonder if there is a political motivation (or pressure from the administration) to leave out the obvious and arguably incontrovertible connection to the far right and perhaps American religious fundamentalists. That will be for others to judge.  It is our hope that members of the public will use this profile to help identify the perpetrator and report them to the appropriate authorities. You may contact the FBI at  or at (202) 278-2000.


Copyright Release: Because this is a matter of national urgency, we hereby give our permission to repost and/or broadcast the above information with the following important restriction:  You must CLEARLY identify the source of the profile as  - no exceptions, and you must quote all of the profile items without bias or an ax to grind. When reposting, you must include the entire article including this copyright notice. You may not create derivative works, including but not limited to alternative profiles.





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