Incident Summary:

10/15/2001: Six employees were tested for anthrax exposure after an envelope sent out by Microsoft to Malaysia was returned to the office in Reno, Washoe county, Nevada. Authorities said the envelope was returned in strange condition and contained anthrax spores. Four of the employees tested negative for types of anthrax poisoning except that contracted through the skin, while two employees were awaiting their results. Although no group claimed responsibility for the attack, authorities and sources speculated that al-Qaeda could be behind the anthrax letters due to their recent attacks on the World Trade Center.



United States

North America

region/u.s. state:



Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Unarmed Assault
Successful Attack? (more) No
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Business
Name of Entity Microsoft office in Reno
Specific Description Microsoft office and employees in Reno
Nationality of Target United States
Additional Information
Hostages No
Ransom No
Property Damage No
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Weapon Details
A letter sent from Microsoft to Malaysia containing a check was returned. It looked questionable, and contained pornographic images, as well as anthrax spores.
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?No
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 / 0 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 0
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 0
Total Number of Injured 0
Number of U.S. Injured 0
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
"Four of six people tested in Nevada test negative for anthrax," Agence France-Presse, October 15, 2001.
Stephen Romei, "US fights to defuse panic at anthrax," The Australian, October 15, 2001.
Phil Chetwynd, "Three exposed to anthrax in New York amid fears of bioterrorism," Agence France-Presse, October 15, 2001.