Anti-abortion extremist Clayton Lee Waagner was in possession of a white powder when U.S. Marshals apprehended him last week. Waagner told the arresting officers that the powder could be found in his stolen car and that even though it was not anthrax, it would initially test positive for the bacteria in field tests. Waagner also confessed to sending more than 500 anthrax threat letters to abortion providers and reproductive rights advocacy organizations. Investigators obtained a warrant to search Waagner’s car where they did find a white powder in the stolen Mercedes, and though it initially tested positive for anthrax, the substance was determined to be Bacillus thuringiensis, an insecticide.
Attorney General John Ashcroft has called the anthrax threat letters sent to women’s reproductive health clinics acts of domestic terrorism. In addition to confessing to these threats, Waagner has also allegedly stated that he was conducting surveillance on and planned to kill forty-two abortion providers. Waagner, previously on the “Most Wanted” lists of the U.S. Marshal Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the ATF, was a fugitive for over eight months after he escaped from a jail in Clinton, Illinois where he was awaiting sentencing on federal weapons charges.