Anti-Abortion Extremist Pleads Not Guilty to Anthrax Charges

Clayton Lee Waagner pleaded not guilty yesterday to a 79-count indictment on federal charges of terrorism for mailing 550 anthrax hoax letters to abortion clinics nationwide last winter, according to the Associated Press. Waagner is charged with “threatening to use a weapon of mass destruction, violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, extortion, and making and mailing threatening communications,” according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. Waagner also pleaded not guilty to posting a message on an anti-abortion website claiming he had been following clinic employees and was going to “kill as many of them as I can,” AP reports.

Waagner, who was previously on the FBI’s “Most Wanted” list after escaping from an Illinois prison in early 2001, is already serving 49 years for charges that include possession of illegal firearms and car theft. He earlier admitted to the FBI in a taped interview that he mailed the letters in an attempt to close down abortion clinics, according to the Inquirer. Waagner will be representing himself at the trial.

Waagner is considered extremely dangerous, having threatened to kill 42 specific abortion doctors while on the run from authorities last year as well as having conducted surveillance on over 100 doctors and abortion clinics, claiming he was on a “mission from God,” according to AP.


Philadelphia Inquirer 10/18/02, 10/17/02; Associated Press 10/17/02; Feminist Daily News Wire

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