Incident Summary:

10/11/2001: A doctor and his family received a letter containing white powder and cloth in Nairobi, Nairobi county, Kenya, that tested positive for anthrax. The letter had been sent from Atlanta, where family members lived, but the anthrax was thought to have been inserted into the envelope when it was sent to Miami on its route to Kenya. The family members all tested positive for anthrax exposure. No group claimed responsibility for the attack.




Sub-Saharan Africa

region/u.s. state:



Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Unarmed Assault
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Private Citizens & Property
Name of Entity A family in Nairobi
Specific Description A doctor and his four family members
Nationality of Target Kenya
Additional Information
Hostages No
Ransom No
Property Damage No
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Weapon Details
The letter contained cloth and white powder. It was postmarked on September 9, 2001 from Atlanta, but had to go through Miami before being sent on to Nairobi.
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?Yes
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Doubt Terrorism Proper (more) No
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Unknown No
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators Unknown
Number of Captured Perpetrators 0
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 0 Fatalities / 5 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 0
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 0
Total Number of Injured 5
Number of U.S. Injured 0
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
Andrew England, "In first anthrax case overseas, spores found in package mailed to Kenya," Associated Press, October 18, 2001.
"Kenya family is the first victim of bioterrorism outside U.S.," EFE News Service, October 18, 2001.
Karl Vick, "Man in Kenya gets U.S. letter containing anthrax," Washington Post, October 19, 2001.