America at Home: Phony anthrax threats distract from real investigation
Hoaxes are stretching thin the resources of investigators who have yet to determine the source of anthrax-tainted letters that have infected 16 people and killed three. Health officials do not know how a woman who became the fourth anthrax fatality came into contact with the deadly bacteria. And the thousands of hoaxes, including a couple of hundred at abortion clinics, distract law enforcement agencies from determining who is responsible.
The FBI has responded to more than 2,500 bogus anthrax threats -- although some false alarms had been reported by people who had legitimate reason to be worried.
The FBI said as many as 200 clinics that provide abortion services -- including Planned Parenthood affiliates -- received mail that did not contain anthrax, as the senders claimed.
The National Abortion Federation said the packages were signed from "The Army of God," which it called a domestic terrorist group.
Three people were indicted or charged Thursday with perpetrating an anthrax hoax, including 52-year-old postal worker Clarence Lindsey in Cicero, Illinois. He allegedly sent a package to a local resident on which he wrote "Antrax Inclosed (sic)."
Legislation introduced in the Senate Thursday would impose a five-year prison sentence, $10,000 in fines and restitution for any disruption caused by a false terrorist threat or a report of such a threat.
What is the government doing to fortify homeland defense? Click here for more
Is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention equipped to handle bioterrorism attacks? Click here for more
Does the U.S. Postal Service have the proper resources to make the mail safe? Click here for more
How is Congress helping out in the recovery process? Click here for more
How long will it take to reopen the damaged section of the Pentagon? At what cost? Click here for more
What will happen to the World Trade Center site? Click here for more
What measures will be taken to try to prevent a recurrence of such attacks? Click here for more
What are tips to know in the wake of the attacks? Click here for more
George W. Bush: U.S. president Click here for more.
Laura Bush: First lady of the United States, she has become more visible since the terrorist attacks, making public appearances urging parents and teachers to help reassure children that everything is being done to try to keep them safe. Click here for more
Tom Ridge: Director of the U.S. Office of Homeland Security, a new Cabinet-level position Click here for more
Richard Clarke: Head of efforts to safeguard information systems for the Office of Homeland Security Click here for more
Wayne Downing: Retired Army general tapped as deputy national security adviser Click here for more
Joe Allbaugh:The chief of the Federal Emergency Management Agency Click here for more
Dr. David Satcher: Surgeon General of the United States
Dr. Jeffrey P. Koplan: Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Click here for more
Rudy Giuliani: Mayor of New York Click here for more
Michael Bloomberg: Mayor-elect of New York
Anthony A. Williams: Mayor of Washington
Dr. Ivan Walks: Director of the Department of Health for the District of Columbia
Paul O'Neill: Treasury secretary
Norman Y. Mineta:Transportation secretary
Jane Garvey: FAA administrator
The latest figures provided by federal and local officials give the following totals for the number of people dead or missing from the September 11 attacks.
WORLD TRADE CENTER: According to New York City officials, 3,962 are missing, including the 157 people on the two hijacked planes; 490 bodies have been identified.
PENTAGON: 64 dead on hijacked plane; another 125 dead or missing
PENNSYLVANIA: 44 confirmed dead on hijacked plane
The events of September 11 exposed the vulnerability of the world's greatest superpower, presenting the United States with the challenge of recovering emotionally and physically.
The U.S. economy, threatened by recession before September 11, has suffered a number of blows in the weeks since. Several industries -- particularly the airline industry -- were hit hard by the aftermath of the terrorist attacks, and leading economic indicators dropped in September. Yet the nation's financial markets have thus far weathered the uncertainty, making up losses experienced in the days after reopening.
Incidents of anthrax found in mail have frightened many, and the notable increase of security at offices and public places indicates America to be a warier, more cautious place. But daily life has not been put on hold: People are still attending entertainment events, going to ballgames, and getting out. Psychologically, the country appears to be finding its way.
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