Larry Wayne Harris

Former Aryan Nations member Larry Wayne Harris is a notorious braggart. According to an article by Jeff Stein, "Harris claimed he had worked for the CIA and several U.S. Army germ warfare laboratories. The CIA and Army both denied it."

Larry Wayne Harris is not appropriate as either an "expert" on terrorism and chemical/biological warfare, nor as a poster boy for claims that the U.S. political right is behind the current wave of anthrax attacks and hoaxes.

That Harris is part of the Extreme Right" needs to be considered when touting him as an expert. See, for example, the Media Watch column from this week's issue of Columbus Alive! weekly: "Reviving Mr. Anthrax: Why didn't the media expose its 'expert witness' as a fascist?" by Mimi Morris and Michael Weber. They point out that: "there is no excuse for giving this demagogue a platform, especially at such a volatile time. Harris’ advice is dangerous when it is not simply loony."

Harris was never in possession of biological agents that posed a serious threat for actual use in mass terrorism. That he dabbles in this field should scare anyone. But it is not accurate to use him as an example of actual attempts by persons in the Extreme Right to use anthrax as a weapon of mass destruction.

The James Ridgeway Village Voice article on Harris was misleading because it reported his arrest charges that included allegations of threats to wipe out a city with a toxin, but failed to report that those charges were almost immediately dismissed. See the Ridgeway article at: The Ridgeway article on Harris failed to mention that in the original Harris court case involving the bubonic plague, Harris was convicted only on the charge of using phony credentials to obtain test samples. In his second arrest, he apparently only had harmless veterinary grade anthrax.

Harris has ties to the Extreme Right through his former Aryan Nations membership and his Christian Identity beliefs. He also promoted his book Bacterological Warfare: A Major Threat to North America, through Hard Right groups such as the Patriot and militia movements, although several Patriot leaders distanced themselves and their groups from Harris.

None of this should be read as suggesting that U.S. right-wing organizations or individuals are not potential suspects.

Excerpts from Harris book:

Reviving Mr. Anthrax: Why didn't the media expose its "expert witness" as a fascist? by Mimi Morris and Michael Weber.

Las Vegas Sun:

Harris Biography Page

Harris: arrest documents in PDF

Harris: documents dismissing most charges in PDF

Interview with Larry Wayne Harris by David E. Kaplan U.S. News & World Report September 2, 1997

PBS Frontline program on biological terrorism with interview with Larry Wayne Harris

Anthrax okay for home use by Mimi Morris and Michael Weber The Progressive Populist

Conspiracy theory of Harris arrest by Hard Right supporter

Media contagion: botching the science behind the bioterror headlines by Gerry O'Sullivan

Afraid of Bugs:  Assessing our Attitudes Towards Biological and Chemical Terrorism A (lengthy) editorial by Mark Pitcavage

Article on Harris and biological terrorism by Jeff Stein on Salon

CNN Interactive page on Harris

MICROBIOLOGIST EXPECTS SITUATION TO WORSEN (Interview with Harris) By Mary Beth Lane Friday, October 19, 2001

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