FBI picks up 2 men suspected of having deadly anthrax
February 19, 1998
Web posted at: 2:35 p.m. EST (1935 GMT)
NEW YORK (CNN) -- The FBI has taken two men into custody in
Las Vegas after suspecting them of developing the deadly
biological agent anthrax, top FBI sources told CNN on
The men, who are believed to be U.S. citizens, were picked up
Wednesday night, after "FBI agents were told the two men had
biological agents," the source said. An FBI official said that the two were charged with plotting to use a toxic biological agent as a weapon.
FBI officials found an unknown substance at an undisclosed
site, and dispatched the FBI Hazardous Materials Response
Unit from Quantico, Virginia, to examine the material, the
A spokesman for Nellis Air Force Base, near Las Vegas, said
authorities impounded a vehicle at the request of the FBI.
The spokesman gave no further details.
CNN was told that five U.S. Army specialists have gone to Las
Vegas from the Army's Dugway Proving Ground in Utah. Four of
the soldiers are with the Army's Technical Escort Unit, and
one is a lab technician specializing in chemical and
A source close to the investigation told CNN there is no sure
evidence pointing to a specific target for the biological
agent, but said one of the men in custody apparently made
references to New York in some writings.
That same man was arrested two years ago in a case involving
possession of a biological agent and had a map of the New
York City subway system with him, but no link was ever
established between the biological substance and the map,
sources told CNN.
In a hastily called news conference on Thursday, New York
City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said there was no connection between
Wednesday's arrests and a purported plot to attack New York City.
"There was absolutely no plot or plan to attack the New York
City subway," Giuliani told reporters at City Hall.
Reuters contributed to this report.