Dr. Bruce Ivins
Posted on Thursday, May 19, 2011
WASHINGTON — Buried in FBI laboratory reports about the anthrax mail attacks that killed five people in 2001 is data suggesting that a chemical may have been added to try to heighten the powder's potency, a move that some experts say exceeded the expertise of the presumed killer.
The lab data, contained in more than 9,000 pages of files that emerged a year after the Justice Department closed its inquiry and condemned the late Army microbiologist Bruce Ivins as the perpetrator, shows unusual levels of silicon and tin in anthrax powder from two of the five letters.
Congressional investigators plan to examine how the FBI determined that one scientist was responsible for the deadly 2001 anthrax attacks
Panel to review FBI work in anthrax case
REUTERS - Reuters US Online Report Top News
Sep 16, 2010 19:01 EDT
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Congressional investigators plan to examine how the FBI determined that one scientist was responsible for the deadly 2001 anthrax attacks, a lawmaker said.
The Government Accountability Office will look into how reliable and accurate the FBI's scientific and technical methods were when it concluded Dr. Bruce Ivins was responsible for the anthrax-laced letters sent in 2001.
The letters killed five people, sickened 17 others, jolted a nation reeling from the September 11 attacks and resulted in one of the FBI's largest investigations ever, with more than 1,000 people facing scrutiny.
By 2007 investigators determined that a single-spore batch of anthrax created and maintained by Ivins at his laboratory in Maryland was the parent material for the spores in the letters.
Friday, April 23rd, 2010
A microbiologist who supervised the work of accused anthrax killer Bruce E. Ivins explained to a National Academy of Sciences panel Thursday why the arithmetic of growing anthrax didn't add up to Ivins' mailing deadly spores in fall 2001.
"Impossible," said Dr. Henry S. Heine of a scenario in which Ivins, another civilian microbiologist working for the Army, allegedly prepared the anthrax spores at an Army lab at Fort Detrick. Heine told the 16-member panel that Ivins would have had to grow as many as 10 trillion spores, an astronomical amount that couldn't have gone unnoticed by his colleagues.
Obama Veto Is Threatened on 2010 Intelligence Budget Measure
By Jeff Bliss
March 15 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama probably would veto legislation authorizing the next budget for U.S. intelligence agencies if it calls for a new investigation into the 2001 anthrax attacks, an administration official said.
A proposed probe by the intelligence agencies’ inspector general “would undermine public confidence” in an FBI probe of the attacks “and unfairly cast doubt on its conclusions,” Peter Orszag, director of the Office of Management and Budget, wrote in a letter to leaders of the House and Senate Intelligence committees.
On Feb. 19, the Obama administration released a 92-page summary of a Federal Bureau of Investigation probe that said the late Bruce Ivins, a government scientist, was behind the attacks. Lawmakers including Representative Rush Holt, a New Jersey Democrat, have questioned the thoroughness of the investigation.
Anthrax-laced letters sent to lawmakers and news outlets nine years ago infected 22 people, killing five.
June 18, 2009
HAGERSTOWN, Md. - An inventory of deadly germs and toxins at an Army biodefense lab in Frederick found more than 9,200 vials of material that was unaccounted for in laboratory records, Fort Detrick officials said Wednesday.
The 13 percent overage mainly reflects stocks left behind in freezers by researchers who retired or left Fort Detrick since the biological warfare defense program was established there in 1943, said Col. Mark Kortepeter, deputy commander of the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases.
He said the found material included Korean War-era serum samples from patients with Korean hemorrhagic fever, a disease still of interest to researchers pursuing a vaccine. Other vials contained viruses and microbes responsible for Ebola, plague, anthrax, botulism and host of other ailments, Kortepeter said in a teleconference with reporters.
January 4, 2009
Portrait Emerges of Anthrax Suspect’s Troubled Life
By SCOTT SHANE
FREDERICK, Md. — Inside the Army laboratory at Fort Detrick, the government’s brain for biological defense, Bruce Edwards Ivins paused to memorialize his moment in the spotlight as the anthrax panic of 2001 reached its peak.
Dr. Ivins titled his e-mail message “In the lab” and attached photographs: the gaunt microbiologist bending over Petri dishes of anthrax, and colonies of the deadly bacteria, white commas against blood-red nutrient.
Outside, on that morning of Nov. 14, 2001, five people were dead or dying, a dozen more were sick and fearful thousands were flooding emergency rooms. The postal system was crippled; senators and Supreme Court justices had fled contaminated offices. And the Federal Bureau of Investigation was struggling with a microbe for a murder weapon and a crime scene that stretched from New York to Florida.