Monday, February 22, 2010

Threats Against IRS Employees on the Rise

From the Wall Street Journal:

The federal agency charged with ensuring the safety of IRS employees said it has seen an increase within the past several years in threats against agency personnel.

In the past four years, there appears to have been a "steady, upward trend" in the number of threats against IRS employees, said an official with the Treasury Department's Inspector General for Tax Administration. That assessment, offered in response to an inquiry from Dow Jones Newswires, is based on preliminary data, the official cautioned.

On Thursday, 53-year old Andrew Joseph Stack crashed his private plane into an Austin, Texas, office building that housed IRS workers, killing himself and one IRS employee and injuring 13 others.

Following the attack, Inspector General J. Russell George said his agency will consider whether changes to security policies are necessary to improve safety.

"There's no question that in the wake of this tragedy, we will be directing attention to that very issue," Mr. George said in an interview. "There are limitations, however, on what you can anticipate about what a disturbed, troubled person can do."

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