Russia threatens to blacklist Americans allegedly linked to 2001 anthrax attacks

The head of a Russian consumer rights agency and the country's chief epidemiologist recently said tat Russia could retaliate against the United States for the Magnitsky Act by blacklisting those it says are responsible for the 2001 anthrax attacks.

The leader of the Russian Federal Consumer Rights Protection Agency Rospotebnadzor and Chief Epidemiologist Gennady Onishchenko said "unwelcome" Americans could be added to the list for their role in breaching the Biological Weapons Convention, according to Interfax.

"This was a not an annoying blunder, but a blasphemous experiment on compatriots," Onishchenko said, Interfax reports. "The samples were mailed from a military institute."

The claim comes after the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill punishing Russian officials implicated in human rights abuses. The bill was passed by an overwhelming majority and will be voted on by the Senate after Thanksgiving, according to

"We could pass this alternative to the Magnitsky list in the State Duma, because those are people who have violated the biological and toxic weapons convention and who, in 2001, used the [biological agents'] samples against their own people. We know the names of those people," Onishchenko said, according to Interfax. "The list should comprise all - both direct executives and those responsible for breaching the biological weapons convention."