Archive for Wednesday, June 20, 2001

Abortion clinics warned about threats

June 20, 2001


— Abortion clinics were warned Tuesday to be on alert after someone purporting to be a federal fugitive posted an Internet message vowing to kill employees of abortion providers.

The U.S. Marshal's office said details included in the message posted on an anti-abortion Web site suggest it was written by Clayton Lee Waagner, a fugitive who escaped from an Illinois jail four months ago and who has said that God asked him to kill doctors who perform abortions.

The writer of the message, which was posted in two parts Monday afternoon on the Rev. Donald Spitz's "Army of God" Web site, identified himself as Waagner and threatened to kill employees at abortion and reproductive health clinics across the country.

The writer says he, Waagner, was able to escape from jail with God's help. He said he has continued to compile the locations of clinics and has even followed clinic employees to their homes in an effort to continue his "war on those who profit from the merciless murder of His children."

"So the abortionist doesn't get the wrong idea, I don't plan on talking them to death. I'm going to kill as many of them as I can," the message said.

"It doesn't matter to me if you're a nurse, receptionist, bookkeeper, or janitor, if you work for the murderous abortionist I'm going to kill you."

The writer said he has decided to target employees because doctors are hard to get to and "have the money to buy heavy protection."

The writer said he was living "in a very secure safe-house" and that he has weapons. He described himself as a terrorist and said he was issuing the message "to warn them that I'm coming."

Vicki Saporta, the executive director of the National Abortion Federation in Washington, said Tuesday that the group had notified about 400 abortion providers and health clinics across the nation by fax, warning them about the message.

Saporta said she believes Waagner wrote the messages, but said Waagner's supporters could have also posted the writings.

Waagner, who has said he was ordered by God to kill abortion providers but has never taken any direct acts against them in the past, escaped in February from an Illinois jail. He was awaiting sentencing after being convicted of possession of firearms and possession of a stolen motor vehicle.

Waagner, 44, of Kennerdell, Pa., about 60 miles north of Pittsburgh, was arrested in September 1999 after crossing into Illinois with his wife and eight children in a stolen Winnebago. Police said there were four stolen handguns under the driver's seat. During his trial, Waagner testified that he had carried out surveillance on abortion clinics for months, stocking up on weapons after God asked him to "be my warrior" and kill doctors.

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