Global Security Newswire
Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues
Anthrax Hoax Suspect Indicted on 13 Counts
The alleged culprit of a widespread anthrax hoax mailing faces up to 70 years in prison after a federal grand jury rung him up with 13 indictments yesterday, the Sacramento Bee reported (see GSN, Nov. 3).
Marc Keyser, a 66-year-old retiree living in Sacramento, Calif., was arrested Oct. 29 after numerous U.S. media outlets received packages containing a compact disc with the words "Anthrax Shock and Awe Terror" and a sugar packet relabeled "Anthrax Sample." Federal authorities quickly located Keyser using the packages' return addresses and other identifying information.
Keyser reportedly admitted the mailings to FBI investigators, and he did not deny them in a Wednesday interview with the Bee.
"Nothing was meant to happen," he said. "It was a warning of the dangers we face."
The grand jury indicted him on 10 counts of hoax mailings and three counts of mailing threatening communications. He remains free on bond at least until his next court hearing, which is scheduled for Wednesday.
Keyser was trying to raise public awareness of the threats of biological terrorism, said his attorney, Assistant Federal Defender Rachelle Barbour.
"The last thing Marc Keyser wants is for people to focus on him and miss the most important fact of this story: that years after Sept. 11, we are still very vulnerable to biological attack and that our government has not done enough to protect us or to prepare for this possibility," she said (Stanton/Walsh, Sacramento Bee, Nov. 14).
The packages were apparently intended to promote Keyser's writings on bioterror risks which he published on his Web site this week.
"The nation is a complete fog of denial," he wrote. "I sent the CD to raise awareness of the grave danger of terror."
In the document, Keyser compares himself to 16th century Protestant Reform leader Martin Luther, whom Keyser quotes: "I neither can nor will make any retraction, since it is neither safe nor honorable to act against conscience" (Marc Keyser Web site, Nov. 14).
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