Incident Summary:

10/18/2001: In one of several anthrax-related incidents, a letter laced with anthrax was sent to Dan Rather of CBS in New York City, New York, U.S.A.. His personal aide, Claire Fletcher, contracted the skin form of anthrax after she opened the letter. The perpetrator(s), as well as specific details concerning the letter were not known. No other employees at CBS were found to have anthrax infections. 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 CBS Broadcasting Inc. (CBS)
Specific Description CBS Anchorman, Dan Rather
Nationality of Target United States
Additional Information
Hostages No
Ransom No
Property Damage No
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Weapon Details
Anthrax (Bacillus anthracis) laced letters that were mailed to Dan Rather at CBS Inc. in New York City.
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 / 1 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 0
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 0
Total Number of Injured 1
Number of U.S. Injured 1
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
"Skin anthrax hits Rather aide at CBS," Chicago Sun Times, October 19, 2001.
"Timeline of anthrax outbreak," The Associated Press, October 31, 2001.