Incident Summary:

10/12/2001: In one of several anthrax-related incidents, Erin O'Connor, the assistant to Tom Brokaw at NBC, was diagnosed with skin anthrax after she came into contact with a letter containing anthrax spores postmarked from Trenton, New Jersey, U.S.A.. The letter was postmarked September 18, 2001. Ms. O'Connor opened the letter on September 25, 2001 and began to show signes of infection on September 28, 2001. A second NBC employee was later diagnosed with "probable" skin anthrax on October 12, 2001. Four New Jersey postal workers, who worked in the facility, also contracted skin anthrax. No group claimed responsibility for the attacks. Concluding an extensive investigation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation identified microbiologist Dr. Bruce Ivins as the sole perpetrator. However, Ivins committed suicide in 2008, having not been arrested or prosecuted. An independent review of the scientific evidence by the National Academy of Science indicated that it was essentially inconclusive.



United States

North America

region/u.s. state:

New York

New York City

Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Unarmed Assault
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Journalists & Media
Name of Entity National Broadcasting Company (NBC)
Specific Description Tom Brokaw
Nationality of Target United States
Additional Information
Hostages No
Ransom No
Property Damage No
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Weapon Details
Bacillus anthracis (Anthrax)
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 (suspected) No
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators Unknown
Number of Captured Perpetrators 0
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 0 Fatalities / 6 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 0
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 0
Total Number of Injured 6
Number of U.S. Injured 6
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
"NBC employee has anthrax; germ found in letter to Microsoft," Knight Ridder Washington Bureau, October 13, 2001.
"Timeline of anthrax outbreak," Associated Press Online, October 31, 2001.
"Second NBC Anthrax Case," Daily News, October 26, 2001.