Artist faces bioterror charges

Attorney for Steven Kurtz says FBI is 'zeroing in' on anti-bioterrorism spending message

John Dudley Miller(johnmiller@nasw.org)
Jun 14, 2004

A Federal grand jury in Buffalo will consider possible bioterrorism charges today (June 15) against an art professor who uses biotechnology to make performance art displays criticizing capitalism.

Steven Kurtz is an associate professor at the Buffalo campus of the State University of New York. He came under suspicion on May 11 after he called 911 early in the morning to report that his wife had died in her sleep, from what authorities later said was heart failure.

While in his home, police and paramedics spotted items including Petri dishes and scientific equipment, according to his attorney, that caused them to call the FBI. After the FBI obtained a criminal search warrant, agents of the 30-agency Joint Bioterrorism Task Force then spent parts of 2 days in hazmat suits searching his home and removing several items.

The search team found no dangerous agents, according to Buffalo FBI spokesperson Paul Moskal....

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