Anti-Abortion Extremist Claims Anthrax Hoax, Plot to Kill 42
Day of the Hunter
Anti-abortion fugitive Clayton Waagner, one of the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted people, is taking credit for a rash of fake anthrax letters sent to family-planning clinics in October. The FBI seems willing to at least consider his claim. On Thursday, Attorney General John Ashcroft announced that Waagner had indeed been named by the bureau as a top suspect in the anthrax hoax.
Waagner also recently threatened to kill 42 clinic workers unless they promise to leave the business.
Two years ago, Waagner was arrested while staking out abortion clinics in the Northeast and mid-South. While awaiting sentencing on firearms and interstate theft charges, he escaped from a jail in Clinton, Illinois. The next anyone heard from him was in September, when Waagner allegedly kidnapped a man outside a casino in Tunica, Mississippi, and stole his car.
According to Neal Horsley, a self-described “abortion abolitionist,” founder of the Web-based Nuremberg Files hit list, and creator of the Christian Gallery News Service Web site, Waagner suddenly appeared at his Georgia home last Friday afternoon. “I turned to look at the door to my office just as the form of a man filled the doorway,” Horsley writes online, in a report that couldn’t be independently verified. “In one motion, he pulled back his coat to show me a large holstered firearm while simultaneously he commanded me to hold the dog. I obeyed. . . . ‘You don’t recognize me, do you?’ he stated, and then stopped. ‘I’m Clay Waagner.’ ”
Horsley says the visitor asked whether anyone thought he was behind the phony anthrax letters. “I told him I thought it was unlikely anyone would suspect him since he was on the run and obviously wouldn’t have the means to do something like that. He took a seat near my desk and said, ‘Well, it was me that did it.’ ”
At first Horsley didn’t believe him, but he claims Waagner showed evidence proving he had sent hundreds of letters and staked out abortion workers. Horsley told the Voice police have now taken a tape of the meeting, which they in turn passed along to the FBI. “I’m going to stop them,” Waagner said, according to Horsley’s transcript. “I’ve already stopped a bunch and I’m going to stop more. . . . I know I can’t kill them all. But I have a list of 42 and this is to that 42: I know where you live; I know what you drive; I actually don’t know all your names, but I’ve got your car license and I’ve followed you home, so I’ve got your street address.
“I’m going to give them a chance to stop,” he adds. “Now you and I haven’t prediscussed [sic] this so this is going to be an interesting concept. And, uh, uh, this is developing as we talk, Neal. Mmm, because I’m not going back to the clinics, I won’t know whether those people have quit. So would you be willing to let them send an e-mail to your Web page, which I could check?”
Stressing that he was a “resourceful” person, Waagner also said he was “pretty good at car theft” and added, “I’ve been a licensed pilot since 1985. An airplane’s easier to steal than a car, a small plane. I mean I could build a bomb and drop it on you from the air.”
A spokesperson with the National Abortion Federation said the group takes Waagner seriously because of his history of violence. Horsley also says caution is warranted. “I am just trying to warn them and I believe that the Holy Spirit will let them know before anything bad happens,” he told the Voice. “Because if I don’t inform people, I would be participating in the murder.”
When Push Comes to Pashtunistan
Birth of a Nation
Notwithstanding the cheery reports from the front lines in Afghanistan, the situation within Pakistan, our newfound Central Asian ally, is on a razor’s edge. Pakistan warily watches the Kashmir frontier, where Indian and Pak troops face each other down almost daily. Meanwhile, nervous Pakistani diplomats are having to take seriously an old idea of partitioning both Afghanistan and Pakistan to carve out a new state for one of the countries’ shared ethnic groups. Planet Earth, meet Pashtunistan.
As things now stand, Pakistani officials fear that the defeat of the Taliban could usher in a Northern Alliance regime that would make little or no provision for Afghanistan’s large Pashtun population, backers of the crumbling fundamentalist government. Such an outcome could push Pashtuns in both Pakistan and Afghanistan to seek the establishment of a separate Pashtunistan.
Of course, Pakistan itself is the product of a bitter partition—this one along religious lines. Sliced off from India in 1947, Pakistan today consists of four provinces, one of which—the North West Frontier—is home to many of the nation’s Pashtuns. They’re outnumbered by the ethnic Punjabs, most of whom would never accept another partition. Thus Pak officials fear an all-out war between the Punjabs and breakaway Pashtuns.
The question of creating a Pashtunistan has been batted back and forth in regional politics since Pakistan was formed. In the past, Afghanistan sought to annex the North West territory. To thwart this, the Pakistani military began spreading money around to various Pashtun factions, trying to pit one against another. Pakistan was pleased to support the Taliban, made up mostly of Pashtuns who were less interested in secular politics than in religious ideals. Their opposition to creating an independent state coincided with Pakistani interests all too well.
Pakistan can’t help but be leery of the Northern Alliance, which attacked its embassy in Kabul. Additionally, the alliance has cordial relations with Israel and India, Pakistani foes. Last week India sent its first high-level diplomatic mission to Afghanistan since the Taliban took over, promising to restore “historic ties.”
There are signs the U.S. may be trying to ease the situation, with its Special Forces participating in a deal that allowed several hundred Taliban fighters to leave Kunduz and travel all the way to Kandahar. What’s more, Pakistani planes were landing at night to pick up Pak volunteers fighting with the Taliban before the siege of Kunduz.
But the U.S. could most reassure Pakistan not with guns, but with a fulfilled promise to set up a multi-ethnic government in Afghanistan and police the country with a multinational force.
For now, Pakistani diplomats are having a hard time believing this will ever come to be. President Pervez Musharraf has come under harsh attack from his public, who say he is allowing the country to be double-crossed by the Americans. Last week, his nation watched as India moved up more soldiers and heavy armor as part of a full-scale alert along the Kashmir front. One theory holds that Musharraf may find it in his best interest to let the fundamentalists have their way in Kashmir and stage a surprise offensive against India, in the process taking the heat off himself.
Hate Groups Revel in New York’s Misery
Wing and a Curse
From the Aryan Nations Web site, hours after Flight 587 went down: “American Airlines Airbus A300 explodes and crashes in Belle Harbor, Queens, jew York City! Let us pray it struck a nice jewish community!”
Additional reporting: Meritxell Mir and Sarah Park